2014-05-10 / News

Mixed results for electric aggregation issues

By Charles Prince

LANCASTER/NEWARK – On their face, electric aggregation ballot issues appear non-controversial.

Ohio law now allows local communities to combine or aggregate their electrical needs to obtain a lower rate for all members of the community.

Six aggregation issues were on the ballot in Fairfield County and one in Licking County. Two were defeated – Berne Township by a 411-391 vote and Village of Thurston by a 25-16 margin. Walnut Township could go either way with an unofficial tally of 421-419 in flavor of the measure. Village of Millersport voters approved their issue by a 151-88 votes as did Richland Township with a 75-56 vote.

State law currently doesn’t permit aggregation for co-op customers so only American Electric Power customers can participate in central Ohio. That limitation may be responsible for some of the “no” votes Tuesday.

In Fairfield County, Palmer Energy Company of Toledo will be putting together the local supply packages. All AEP customers in communities approving the measure will be automatically enrolled, but will have a time-limited no cost opt-out opportunity. Participating customers will continue to receive a monthly electric bill from AEP. No additional bills will be received.

In Licking County, Union Township voters approved the county’s only aggregation issue by a 405-229 unofficial vote. Utility consultant Trebel LLC will seek bids from approved electricity suppliers to get the best price for AEP customers in the unincorporated portions of the township. While the Village of Hebron remains in Union Township, its residents didn’t have say on Tuesday’s issue and will not participate in the township’s program. Hebron residents may have an opportunity to aggregate on the November ballot.

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