Middletown residents vote in favor of electric, gas aggregation

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Middletown residents who voted in Tuesday’s special election have voted yes to the city registering to become a certified aggregator with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Issue 4 for natural gas was approved by 52%, and Issue 5 for electric had 53% of voters approving it, according to unofficial counts by the county’s board of elections.

Middletown has chosen Cincinnati-based Energy Alliances, Inc. as a consultant.

Tim Abbott, director of community relations for Energy Alliances, told the Journal-News last week the program could potentially offer Middletown residents lower rates than Duke Energy, the default provider.

Energy Alliances will seek bids from other providers that are cheaper than Duke’s, Abbott said.

The only residents who are ineligible for the program are those who are with another alternate supplier and those who are enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP), said Rich Surace, chief operating officer of Energy Alliances. He made a presentation before City Council on Oct. 4, 2022.

Similar issues are expected to be on the November ballot in Trenton, Lemon Twp., Oxford Twp., Ross Twp. and Millville.

Energy Alliances manages more than 60 programs throughout Ohio, including West Chester Twp., Liberty Twp. Hanover and Fairfield Twp. in Butler County and Clearcreek and Turtlecreek townships in Warren County.

City council will have to approve the program, too. Energy Alliances will make a presentation, council will need to approve, then residents will have 21 days to opt out of their current energy plan with no fees or penalties or remain with Duke, Abbott said.

Matt Schilling, a spokesperson for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), recently said community energy aggregators allow a block of customers to shop the market and find the lowest rate possible. Schilling said aggregators like Energy Alliances are able to shop the market more frequently than standard providers like Duke Energy and that means their prices are generally more responsive to market conditions.

Staff Writer Rick McCrabb contributed to this report.

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