Springfield residents receiving letters about NOPEC energy aggregator

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Springfield residents receiving letters about NOPEC energy aggregator.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

It’s not a scam — it’s the City of Springfield’s new energy aggregator.

Springfield City Manager Jim Bodenmiller said his office has received a lot of calls from residents about NOPEC.

NOPEC (Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council) is a non-profit that buys utilities in bulk to help lower customers’ utility bills. NOPEC replaces the city’s former energy aggregator, FirstEnergy Solutions.

“The power lines, the poles all that stuff is Ohio Edison’s,” said Bodenmiller. “It’s just the juice that’s running through the lines that we’re purchasing at discounted prices.”

Bodenmiller said the worst thing that can happen by participating in the NOPEC program is money savings.

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“This aggregation program over nine years has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for our residents,” Bodenmiller said.

Anyone who was already in the FirstEnergy Solutions aggregation program will be automatically enrolled into NOPEC’s program — unless they choose to opt out.

If someone does opt out, they will continue to get services from Ohio Edison but it’ll be at Ohio Edison’s standard rate.

Some people choose to opt out if they think they can find a better deal on electricity than what NOPEC offers, but Bodenmiller warns that may not be the best choice in the long run.

“I would just say that if you kind of go off on your own, it could be a short term, nice price that doesn’t last. This locks you in for a longer period of time,” he said.

Anyone who is not already receiving discounted electricity can enroll in NOPEC, and if someone does choose to participate in NOPEC, they’ll only receive one bill from Ohio Edison.

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Bodenmiller said Springfield voters approved having a utility aggregator close to 10 years ago. The Springfield City Commission voted to join NOPEC through a city ordinance in July after the news that FirstEnergy Solutions filed for bankruptcy in the spring.

He said he understands residents being confused about the change, especially with the amount of solicitation that comes through the mail.

Letters began to go out to Springfield residents and businesses from NOPEC in the middle of November.

That letter outlines three options to customers.

The first option says as a customer, the initial price for five months will be 5.85 cents per kWh. The letter continues to say that, “After that, your price may change from month to month but not more than once in a 30 day period for the remaining term of the contract…”

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The second option allows customers to choose a monthly variable price option where the price will be “6 percent less than your Ohio Edison’s Price to Compare.”

And the third option allows people to participate by choosing another product and pricing option not listed.

Ohio Edison will also be responsible for reading meters, billing and dealing with emergency situations.

Anyone with further questions can call NOPEC at 855-667-3201 or the City of Springfield at 937-324-7300. Service through NOPEC will begin in January. Customers are able to opt out of NOPEC at any time. To opt out, fill out of the opt out postcard and mail it back to NOPEC.

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