2011-12-24 / News

Energy contract signed

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE – Village of Buckeye Lake residents have until the end of the year to take advantage of a new program to reduce the cost of their electricity.

Buckeye Lake recently contracted with Buckeye Energy Brokers, Inc. for access, through independent energy providers, to a limited amount of electricity that American Electric Power is offering at a reduced rate. Basically, it’s first come, first served. Buckeye Energy will use Akron based FirstEnergy Solutions as its electricity provider.

This week Buckeye Energy President Thomas Bellish said the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) extended the deadline to sign up for discounted power. A Buckeye Energy press release said, “Residents in Buckeye Lake now have more time to sign up to receive guaranteed savings on their monthly electric bills through their communities’ electric discount program by enrolling with FirstEnergy Solutions before Dec. 31, 2011. The program runs through December 2014.

“The biggest benefit of enrolling in an offer that provides a percent off the utility’s generation rate is guaranteed savings,” said Brenda Fargo, manager of governmental aggregation for FirstEnergy Solutions, in the press release. “It does not matter if the utility’s rate goes up or down, residents who sign up for this offer will continue to save money every month of the agreement.”

According to the press release, residents who choose FirstEnergy Solutions as their electric generation supplier will continue to receive one bill and the same level of service from AEP Ohio, and the utility will continue to deliver the electricity, maintain the poles and wires, and respond to power outages.

Residential customers interested in enrolling in their community endorsed offer should contact FirstEnergy Solutions by calling 1-877-534-7397 or on-line at fes. com/ buckeyelake. Customers should have their AEP bill in hand before calling or going on-line.

FirstEnergy Solutions, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is one of the nation’s largest providers of competitive electric generation supply, serving more than 1.5 million customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Michigan and Illinois.

Residents are NOT required to participate and may sign up for any other provider they wish if they believe it’s a better deal than what the village is offering. Residents who are currently adding that people who are on an electricity budget would not be able to remain on the budget if they sign up for the program.

Buckeye Lake Village Director of Development Daniel Coffman said Buckeye Energy Brokers would pay the $25 disconnect fee should a resident become unhappy with FirstEnergy over the threeyear period.

Council President Charlene Hayden said residents will receive a letter from First Energy Solutions. “It will be up to them to complete the paperwork as soon as possible if they are interested in participating in the program,” Hayden said. “If not, they will continue on with AEP as they always have. They could choose a provider other than FirstEnergy. However, I have not yet heard of one that gives a better discount.” She said that if residents are considering another provider, they should consider the amount of the discount and the number of months the discount will last through the village program. “FirstEnergy is giving nine percent for three years, which will get residential customers past the time commercial customers are allowed to start participating,” said Hayden,

In other village news from the Dec. 12 council meeting:

• Hayden said she, Mayor Rick Baker, and Coffman visited OSU main campus Dec. 1 for the presentation of a master growth and development plan for Buckeye Lake Village created by OSU students for a city planning class led by adjunct professor Aaron Domini. Students worked on the project for several months.

“All of us thought they did a fantastic job researching our village and its potential, and they did a great job of coming up with ideas to pursue,” said Hayden. “They will send us a copy of their presentation.”

• More than 300 people visited Buckeye Lake’s Community Christmas Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 10 which provided coats, hats, gloves, and toys to area needy children. “Many of us from the village helped in some way that day,” said Hayden. She said council member Kaye Hartman brought a Salvation Army food wagon – Hartman is volunteer coordinator for the Licking County Salvation Army – and Cranberry Bay Homeowners Association provided food and helped to serve it. Hayden said Baker helped distribute toys and council member Clay Carroll helped set up and tear down the grounds. Hayden said Buckeye Lake Parks and Recreation Committee members Marianne Perine, Lindsay Brighton, and Stacy McCloud helped, as did Hayden and council member-elect Patrick Brighton.

• Dec. 12 was council’s final meeting of 2011, and the last meeting for members Donna Thompson and Hilde Hildebrandt, although Hildebrandt was unable to attend Monday night. Neither sought reelection.

“This has been the best four years of my life,” said Thompson. “I’ve enjoyed it so much. You’re never too old to learn.”

Thompson was appointed to council Sept. 10, 2007, to fill former council member John Cortez’ term. Cortez is serving a 17- year prison term. Dec. 15, 2003 Hildebrandt was appointed to council on Dec. 15, 2003, to fill a new seat created by the the village’s newly formed charter government.

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