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County to place aggregation issue on fall ballot

URBANA — Some Champaign County residents will vote in November on an issue that could save them money on their electricity bills.

If approved by residents, the electric aggregation issue could save some residents as much as 30 percent on the generation portion of their electricity bills.

Those affected would include residents who have accounts with Dayton Power & Light and live in unincorporated areas of the county. The issue will also be on the ballot for residents in North Lewisburg.

If approved, the County Commissioners Association of Ohio would determine the electric supplier for all participants after scheduling a request for proposals. The current agreement with First Energy Solutions is set to expire, and a search for a new supplier will begin at the end of this year.

Residents in rural parts of the county served by Pioneer Electric are already served by a cooperative and wouldn’t qualify. So far other villages in the county and the city of Urbana, haven’t placed the issue on the ballot, said Bill Bradish, account manager at the Palmer Energy Co., which is a consultant for the CCAO and administers the program.

If voters approve the issue, the CCAO would administer the program. Overall, the commissioners association is working with about 22 other counties that have approved electric aggregation in some form.

Residents who are served by Pioneer Electric will be allowed to vote on the issue, Bradish said.

Even if residents approve the ballot issue, residents who do not wish to take part can opt out of the program, said Steve Hess, Champaign County commissioner.

“This isn’t something that’s being forced upon anybody,” Bradish said.

The commissioners have already decided to move forward with a separate aggregation agreement with the CCAO that will provide lower electricity rates for county-owned facilities. More than 30 other counties are also involved in that program.

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