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Franklin Township to Vote on Money-Saving Aggregation Plan

September 13, 2016 By Cheryl Kaften

Residents of Franklin Township – one of the 11 townships of Warren County, Ohio – will vote in November on a pair of issues that may save them money on their electric and natural gas bills, according to a report in the local Journal-News.

In the meanwhile, a Community Forum is scheduled for October 4 on the topic of aggregation of natural gas and electricity.

In Ohio, local communities are allowed, by law, to buy energy as a group and thereby gain economies of scale to solicit the lowest price for the group’s natural gas and/or electricity needs. This is called governmental aggregation.

Franklin Township Administrator Traci Stivers told the Journal-News that an energy management company would seek out the lowest utility rates and negotiate with that energy provider for the rate township residents would be charged.

“But, they don’t guarantee the price and (the rate); it could come back at a higher rate,” she said.

Last spring, Trebel – a national energy consulting company serving commercial, governmental, small business, and residential clients primarily throughout the deregulated energy markets – met with township trustees to discuss aggregation. The company is certified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to perform these services.

If voters approve Issues 6 and 7 in November, Franklin Township would have the authority to negotiate the lowest possible energy rates. Homeowners would have 21 days to opt-out of the township’s aggregation program and purchase their energy as they currently do now.

And some residents are likely to do so, according to the Journal-News. At a meeting in August, resident Mike Snelling told the newspaper that he does not understand how Duke Energy can sell electricity through a third-party.

“Maybe I don’t understand,” Snelling said. “But when someone offers you a cheaper price, you have to ask questions… It’s kinda like your taxes and politicians say they can reduce them. I don’t think I can afford any more reductions.”

Trustee President Beth Callahan told the local news outlet that she brought this up two years ago, when she was asked to choose an energy provider.

“The utility will listen to a group of people instead of one customer,” she said. “I think it’s a good idea and we’re letting the people vote on it.”

In addition to Franklin Township energy aggregation issues for natural gas and electric are on the ballot in the village of Corwin and Wayne Township in Butler County; electric aggregation issues are on the ballot in Hanover and Madison townships in Butler County.

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