“Commissioners were adamant that residents be allowed to leave the program at any time with no penalty,” Huddleson said.
Consumers are automatically enrolled and will pay the lower rate unless they opt-out of the agreement. Under the new rate, the average home can save $115 annually on their electric bills, while annual savings for small business owners are estimated at $341, Huddleson said.
MORE: Teen sent to prison for deadly Greene County crash
This isn’t the first time the county has notified residents of a new electric rate agreement.
“The last time this occurred we were all caught by surprise,” Commission President Tom Koogler said of the many residents who called the county to opt-out of the program.
“These people have already gone through that once and they’re going to say, ‘Wait a minute. I have to do this again?’” Koogler said. “Whether it saves them money is regardless. The fact is, they don’t want it and we really need to do what we can to make this as easy as possible for them not to be part of this process if that’s what they choose.”
Commissioner Bob Glaser said he pays 6.5 cents/kwh as a resident in the city of Beavercreek and wishes he could have access to the new lower rate, but it doesn’t apply to incorporated areas of the county.
“From a common sense standpoint, it makes no sense for people to opt out of the program,” Glaser said. “Over the course of a year, this adds up to a lot of money.”
MORE: Jail administrator: New facility, ‘new paradigm’ needed in county corrections
Commissioners used Palmer Energy as a consultant to lead the bidding process to identify the best rates offered by energy suppliers. Palmer Energy representatives said they will be on-hand to help answer phone calls and to train county staff members on how to answer residents’ questions.
The county is also saving money under a new three-year contract with MidAmerican Energy to provide electric service rates to county buildings. The current rate of 5.8 cents/kwh will drop to 4.3 to 4.8 cents/kwh.