Your community can set up an electric aggregation program as long as your local electric utility is an “open access” electric utility. To view an up-to-date listing of open access electric utilities, look for the websites of your state’s Consumer’s Counsel or the Public Utilities Commission.
Once the program is in place, residential customers are included in electric aggregation. To be eligible individually, you must be current on your account with your local electric utility. Non-profit organizations or commercial customers and municipal facilities with annual electric consumption of not more than 700,000 Kwh, and that are not part of a national account with multiple facilities may also participate.
There is typically no cost to enroll in an electric aggregation program. However, if you are already using an alternative electric supplier under an existing CHOICE program, you may have to pay a “switching fee” or a cancellation fee to your existing supplier or local utility, if you cancel your existing supply contract early.
If your community passes opt-out legislation, information will be mailed to all eligible customers, and they are automatically enrolled (unless they choose to opt out of the program).
If your community chooses an opt-in program, then there are several ways to enroll, including:
- Complete and return an enrollment form by mail.
- Call a toll-free number that is provided with the program enrollment materials.
- Complete an enrollment form online at the website provided with the program enrollment materials.
Normally, the alternate electric supply company will complete the transfer of electric service with the local electric utility. You will see no change in service, delivery or billing, all of which continue to be handled by your local electric utility.
The initial term of the agreement with the alternate supplier can vary between communities, but is typically three years or more. At the end of the initial term, you can usually continue in the program under the terms and conditions offered at that time. After the initial term, if you are dissatisfied for any reason, you may return to your local electric utility’s regulated service or select another approved electric supplier.
Since the local electric utility still issues the entire bill, you may continue on the budget payment plan of your existing company.
Yes, because your local electric utility still issues the entire bill, you can continue to use their automatic bill payment service.
Additional information on electric aggregation can be obtained by contacting Chris Easton, chief risk officer, at 614.540.1111 or email@example.com.