Englewood Asking Voters for the “Power of Choice”
Eric A. Smith, Englewood City Manager
On Nov. 8, Englewood voters will be asked to grant the city the authority to establish a communitywide electric and gas aggregation program. This would allow the city to negotiate a bulk rate for electricity from sustainable sources for Englewood residents, businesses and other consumers of electricity and natural gas.
There are two main goals for such aggregation:
- Promoting the use and creation of electricity produced by clean, sustainable sources; and
- Getting the lowest-possible bulk rate we can negotiate with an emphasis on sustainably sourced electricity for residential, business and other electric consumers.
A “Yes” vote will indicate a voter approves of authorizing this option for the city of Englewood. It does not mean the city will immediately – or necessarily ever – act on this voter-granted authority.
The city would only establish the aggregation program if and when it can negotiate a favorable gas rate and electric rate focused toward sustainably sourced electricity.
Such a program would not take away anyone’s choice about electric and/or gas providers. Any resident, business or other utility consumer can choose to opt out of the program at any time and select their own provider. Opting out will be as simple as completing an online form or returning a provided postcard. Note: opt out letters will only go to eligible residents/businesses, meaning those directly with AES.
Aggregation lets the city negotiate with sustainable electricity and/or gas providers on behalf of a large number of customers.
If not enough sustainably sourced electricity is geographically available to supply all participating Englewood consumers, the program will buy renewable energy credits for sustainable energy generated elsewhere in the country. Regardless of a customer’s choice, they will continue to receive the same level of service on the same power lines that they do today.
Why emphasize sustainably sourced energy? Because it aligns with the city of Englewood’s overall efforts to protect our environment, save natural resources, promote healthy lifestyles and ensure future generations will enjoy calling Englewood a great place to live, learn, play and work!
This program would not be unique. A large number of other Ohio communities have already made the commitment and established green energy aggregation programs.
Why is the city asking for this authority now?
The city can choose when – if ever – to create this aggregation program. Given the current uncertainties of the electricity and gas marketplace, it is likely the city would wait until energy markets stabilize before asking energy providers to offer proposals.
By getting voter approval this November, the city would have the authority to “strike when the iron is hot” and can act to negotiate a great rate when the market looks most favorable to Englewood.
Edited content originally authored by Dan Ralley, Assistant City Manager for Hilliard, Ohio. Reproduction by permission.