Electric aggregation is an abstract concept, but the program is pretty simple. Here are answers to frequently asked questions.
What is Issue 10?
Issue 10 is a ballot initiative that would allow the city of Grove City to negotiate with a utility to obtain bulk purchase rates for electricity on behalf of its residents and small businesses through a program called Community Choice Aggregation. It’s like a Sam’s Club for buying electricity.
Why are we voting on this?
The state of Ohio’s Community Choice Aggregation program requires that voters give the city permission to negotiate for energy prices on their behalf through passing a ballot initiative.
Would I be required to participate?
No. If the ballot initiative passes, you will receive a letter asking if you want to be included. If you don’t, you can easily opt out with no penalties or fees. The choice is always yours.
Are other Ohio cities doing this?
The Community Choice Aggregation program was established in Ohio in 1999. Since then, more than 400 cities, counties, and townships have set up aggregation programs for electricity or gas.
Why should we do this in Grove City?
By pooling together the purchasing power of Grove City residents and businesses, we can obtain a lower price. It’s like a Sam’s Club for energy. Last year Worthington voters passed electric aggregation by 75%. They saved almost $100,000 in the first 10 months of the program.
Where would the electricity come from?
Community Choice Aggregation allows us not only to bargain for a lower rate, but also demand a better product. Grove City could contract with a utility that can supply 100% renewable energy through construction of new solar and wind generation projects in Ohio. Our purchasing power would be used to create jobs and clean the air and water right here in Ohio.
Who would be covered?
About 2/3 of Grove City residents and businesses are eligible for the program. Among those not eligible are people covered by the federal Percentage of Income Payment Program, people who have contracts with other utilities, and large businesses with their own energy contracts.
How would this lower pollution?
Community Choice Aggregation for 100% renewable energy would lower carbon emissions from Grove City by 73,693 metric tons annually – equivalent to taking 15,921 cars off the road each year! This would significantly help clean our air and water and improve our health.
What happens if the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining?
Power to the city would come from an entire portfolio of energy generation facilities that feed into the grid. At no point would the grid be without sufficient electricity to power our homes and businesses.
Would my electric bill start coming from the city?
No. Under the Community Choice Aggregation program, your electric bill would come from AEP Energy just as it does now. Conversion to the program would be seamless for customers.
How would the city choose which utility supplies my electricity?
If voters pass Community Choice Aggregation, the city could issue a Request for Proposals for utilities to supply city residents and businesses with 100% renewable energy sourced from local generation projects. The city would then evaluate the proposals it receives and choose the utility that can supply the best product at the lowest price. Everything will be transparent.
How much will this program cost the city?
There is no cost to Grove City for enacting a Community Choice Aggregation program. The program simply allows the city to negotiate with a utility supplier for bulk purchase electricity rates on behalf of residents and businesses.
Will this program raise my taxes or electric bill?
Absolutely not. Community Choice Aggregation has nothing to do with taxes, and will likely lower your electric bills.
Is this similar to what Columbus is doing?
Columbus residents will be voting on Issue 1, a similar initiative that would enact Community Choice Aggregation for 100% renewable energy. The difference is, Columbus has already chosen a utility supplier while Grove City is waiting for approval from voters to do that.
What about the consultants in Columbus?
Columbus hired an energy consultant called Trebel to help with their public communications and utility contract. Grove City has a different consultant called Aspen Energy, which is helping with the city’s public outreach. Find out more here