Most Fairfield residents should start to see savings on electric bills

Electric aggregation in Fairfield also part of city’s sustainability program.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Fairfield’s commitment to sustainability just took a step forward with the launch of its new energy aggregation program.

Voters approved electric aggregation in Fairfield last November. Aggregation promises lower electric bills, which also represents a move towards a greener future, said City Manager Scott Timmer.

“This program is a win-win for Fairfield,” he said. “Residents are seeing real cost savings on their electricity bills, and by leveraging our collective buying power, we’re contributing to a more sustainable future for our city.”

This past November, Fairfield residents supported the city to seek both electric and natural gas aggregation options.

Fairfield contracted with Energy Alliances to help handle the request for proposal process and received three bids. In February, Dynegy Energy was selected by Energy Alliances.

The city is starting with electric providers as residents will see bigger savings, but eventually it will go through a similar process for natural gas aggregation.

The new electric rate will be 6.17 cents per kWh, and includes a 50% renewable investment, which Rich Surace, the COO of Energy Alliances, previously said that means half the energy would be offset through the purchase of renewable energy products.

The Dynergy rate is nearly 2 cents cheaper than Duke Energy’s expected summer rate (8.01 cents per kWh) for Ohio.

The new rate for Fairfield residents began in April and will be reflected in this month’s bill. However, not all Fairfield residents will see this rate.

Residents could have opted out of the aggregation and received notices on how to do that. Also, if residents were with an alternate supplier prior to aggregation or enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP), they cannot participate in Fairfield’s aggregation program.

The program is voluntary, and residents can opt-out at any time without penalty. Fairfield administrators understand individual needs may vary and said that flexibility ensures residents have control over their energy choices.

More than 81% of Fairfield’s electric payers are participating in the program, which represents nearly 12,700 accounts. Public Utilities Director Adam Sackenheim said this demonstrates strong community support for the electric aggregation initiative.

The initiative is projected to collectively save more than $2.9 million for the community.

“The average household participating in aggregation can expect to see a reduction of approximately $230 on their annual electric bill,” Sackenheim said. “That’s real money back in the pockets of Fairfield residents, but it’s also a win for the environment.”

This energy aggregation program is one part of the city of Fairfield’s comprehensive sustainability initiative. City Council members and Fairfield’s executive administrators have publicly stated they are committed to exploring alternative energy sources, as well as preserving parks and open spaces, protecting water quality, and reducing the city’s overall environmental footprint.

The Fairfield administration expects to finalize a sustainability plan, Fairfield Sustains, this summer and present it to the public before seeking council approval. The Fairfield Sustains plan is built on the contributions from the community, stakeholders, staff and leadership.

The plan focuses on five strategy areas, including foundational areas that include mobility and transportation, buildings and energy, and resource conservation. The other two strategy focus areas include nature and green community and community and business resilience.

Timmer said the city’s energy aggregation program is “a shining example of how a community can work together to achieve both economic and environmental benefits.”

“This program is just the beginning of Fairfield’s sustainability journey, and the city looks forward to collaborating with its residents to build a brighter future for generations to come,” the city manager said.

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