SOLON, OH - NOEC says nearly 550,000 electricity customers across Ohio will soon start saving money on their electric bills by taking proactive steps to save its electric customers money on their electric bills for the remainder of this year and into the Spring of 2023.
The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) is transitioning electric customers enrolled in its Standard Program Price option back to the utility default service, allowing its customers to take advantage of the utilities’ currently lower monthly rate, referenced as the “Price to Compare” on their monthly bills. As a result, NOPEC customers’ electric generation rates are expected to be substantially below the forecasted market prices through the next approximately seven-month period.
“As a consumer-focused non-profit, NOPEC is always operating and advocating for what’s best for our communities and customers,” said Chuck Keiper, NOPEC’s Executive Director. “When we looked at the price forecasts, it became increasingly apparent that the Price to Compare rate would be a better place for our customers to be through Winter 2023 to save significant money during these economically challenging times.”
While individual customers who previously contacted NOPEC could change their rate to the lower utility rate at no charge, Keiper said the organization decided “it was in all our consumers’ best interest” to make the wholesale change and temporarily switch its more than a half-million customers to the utility service.
NOPEC informed the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) on the NOPEC customer transfer. NOPEC electric customers do not have to do anything to start getting the lower rates and will not be charged any fee to transfer. NOPEC will immediately notify the electric utilities to return its Standard Program Price accounts to the default service. Depending on each customer’s meter read date, it may take one to two billing cycles for the transfer to take effect. Customers will receive a letter from NOPEC detailing the reason for the change and direction regarding where they can go for more information. Customers may also receive a notice from their utility confirming the change.
NOPEC natural gas customers, however, should remain in the aggregation, Keiper said, as NOPEC’s current natural gas price is still lower than other retail offers as well as the current Dominion East Ohio and Columbia Gas default service rates.
“That will result in additional savings for our gas customers as we enter the fall and winter heating season,” Keiper said. “Our customers should see lower gas prices than the rates offered by the utilities and other retail competitors.”
About 75% of all NOPEC communities currently receive both electric and gas supply through NOPEC.
By Spring 2023, NOPEC is forecasting that energy markets will normalize and its electric rates will be in line with the utilities’ newly established Price to Compare and all eligible customers in NOPEC member communities will be notified via mail that they will be automatically re-enrolled in NOPEC at that time, unless they notify NOPEC that they wish to opt out.
Utility customers across the nation have been seeing higher bills as energy markets experience unprecedented inflation because of escalating global and domestic economic issues and hotter than normal weather driving up demand. NOPEC is not immune to this inflationary spike, putting current electricity prices in sharp contrast to the historically low pricing NOPEC customers have enjoyed over the past 20+ years. NOPEC and other retailer's current electric rates are higher than the utility's PTC because the utility's rate was determined largely in auctions conducted prior to April 2022, when energy prices were considerably lower.
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