Fairborn still considering aggregation options on energy rates

FAIRBORN — The city is awaiting prices for an aggregation program Fairborn customers could join to potentially save money on utilities.

Fairborn earlier this year chose Palmer Energy as a consultant on electric and natural gas aggregation for city customers of AES Ohio and/or CenterPoint Energy.

“I would think that we will be able to sit down with them hopefully in the next month or so and see what those prices look like,” said Terry Adkins, Fairborn public works director.

“I think all along we knew that it was going to be into the winter before we would have everything in place to be able to offer anything to our citizens,” Adkins added. “But I think we’re very close. I know that there’s many in the area – especially for natural gas – looking for possibilities.”

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Toledo-based Palmer works with the Ohio Municipal League, whose membership size increases the likelihood for better rates, officials have said.

State law grants jurisdictions the authority to pool the buying power of residents and small businesses to negotiate for favorable rates for electricity or natural gas, records show.

Several area communities – including Englewood, Riverside, Trotwood and Vandalia – approved November ballot issues approving aggregation. Fairborn voters passed similar measures several years ago, Adkins said.

When Fairborn launches its program will depend on the rates and require city council’s approval, but he said it will likely be in 2023.

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“You don’t want to get into a plan for a year or a year and half and be locked in at a price” when rates could drop later in the year, Adkins said.

When the program launches, all eligible residents will receive an opt out letter in the mail detailing the contract information, according to the city.

Residents will have 21 days to notify the city if they choose to opt out. Without notifying the city, they would be enrolled in plan, Adkins said.

But “any time after that they find a plan that would be better for them, they can opt off of our plan at any time,” he added.

Customers can visit: https://energychoice.ohio.gov/ to explore additional provider options outside of aggregation.

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