Many communities in the Greater Cincinnati area have saved their residential and small business customers money on their electric bills by “aggregating” – meaning forming a community buying group.
The City of Cheviot saved their residents 63% over Duke’s best price when negotiating their contract.
The Village of Indian Hill estimates their average resident saves $74 per month on electricity with their guaranteed rate.
West Chester Township residential and small business customers saved a whopping $4,992,454.56 on electric bills in just 10 months by forming their community buying group. This amounts to a $332.82 savings per average household.
Cincinnati voters will get a chance to form our own community buying group for electricity on November 8. By voting yes, you are giving the city the authority to create the community buying group. When the community buying group is formed, the city can put the electric contract out to bid.
Basic facts about community buying groups (aggregation)
Electric rates in our area negotiated by community buying groups range from 2 to 3.5 cents less per kilowatt hour than Duke’s price to compare.
Everyone will be given the chance to opt-out of the buying group.
When the buying group is formed, residential and small business customers will automatically be included unless they opt-out.
You will still receive only one bill from Duke. Duke owns the transmission lines. In a power outage you will still call Duke and they will make repairs.
The community buying group is for residential customers and small businesses only. Larger electric users already have the ability to negotiate better rates on their own.
The contract, including the price per kilowatt hour will be negotiated by the city on our behalf. There will be two public hearings before a provider is chosen. City residents will be able to weigh in on where their power comes from and encourage cleaner and cheaper sources.
NOV 8: Vote YES on Issue 44
For more information contact Rachael Belz, Ohio Citizen Action
‘Competition is working in Ohio,’ said Tony Banks, vice president of competitive market practices for FirstEnergy Solutions, the Akron company’s unregulated subsidiary. ‘FirstEnergy has both wholesale and retail competition.’
Many Northeast Ohio consumers might have trouble believing that. Unlike the competition among natural gas suppliers, no electrical suppliers compete for the consumer’s dollar in this part of the state.
In FirstEnergy’s traditional territory, only one company competes with First-Energy’s electric companies — the Illuminating Co., Ohio Edison and Toledo Edison. That company is FirstEnergy Solutions, their sister company, which owns FirstEnergy’s power plants.
Melink's net-zero headquarters produces as much energy onsite as its building uses. It's been dubbed the "33rd greenest building in the world."
CINCINNATI — “Steve Melink has achieved something most businesses and homeowners only dream about: The monthly electric bills on his 30,000-square-foot building in Union Township have been $0.00 the past five months.
Melink, president and owner of Melink Corp., believes his 5-year-old energy-efficient building is one of the few buildings in the country to achieve net zero energy – the state of producing as much energy as it consumes. The achievement comes from efforts including turning down thermostats, turning off lights and increasing insulation. At the same time, Melink generates electricity from about a dozen solar collectors on the roof and 20-acre grounds.
Depending on how much sun shines each month, Melink Corp. can even earn several hundred dollars in credits on its Duke Energy bill for electricity it produces and puts on the utility’s system.
Today, Melink Corp. is celebrating its energy-saving accomplishments with an open house at the company’s office and plant off Round Bottom Road. Several hundred people are expected at the business that provides commercial heating and ventilating equipment and services and develops solar projects.”
With almost half of its energy supply generated by renewable sources, Brazil increasingly looks like a positive example for the rest of the world
The Rio do Fogo wind farm in Brazil.
SAO PAOLO, Brazil — “There is an old joke that says Brazil is the country of the future – and always will be. But with rapid economic growth, the government claiming that some 40 million people have been lifted out of poverty in the past decade and the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on the horizon, it seems the joke is about to fall flat. Brazil’s time has arrived and the country of sun, sea and samba is keen to showcase itself to the world as a positive example of how to exploit renewable energy sources as well as how to perform on the football pitch.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, up to 77 percent of the world’s energy needs could potentially be supplied from renewable sources by 2050, despite the current figure being a much more modest 13 percent.
Many heads of government around the world wondering how they can play their part in such a dramatic transformation could be forgiven for looking enviously at Brazil, where the figure already stood at 44.8 percent in 2010 and is forecast to rise to 46.3 percent in 2020.
While this increase may seem small in percentage terms, it fails to take into account the huge growth that will be seen in the country’s raw energy demands — and the fact that the next decade could see the foundations laid for renewable energy to quickly become even more dominant in the years that follow.”
Plan will deny electric savings to more than 300,000 eligible households in Ohio
AKRON — “The proposed settlement includes various provisions which effectively operate as a cap to shopping and would prevent a majority of AEP Ohio’s customers from shopping between 2012 and mid-2015. The timing and design of these caps would be particularly damaging to governmental aggregation efforts.
Hundreds of communities across Ohio currently offer residential and small business customers electricity savings through governmental aggregation programs. However, due to the shopping caps, the anticipated savings from the programs being considered by voters in AEP Ohio’s territory could be eliminated. The plan would essentially block municipal aggregation in AEP Ohio’s territory for three more years – at a time when electricity prices are at historic lows and many homeowners and small business owners are struggling in a sluggish economy.
‘State law requires the promotion and development of governmental aggregation. It’s a proven, effective means of reducing energy costs for Ohio’s families and small businesses,’ said Donald R. Schneider, president of FES. ‘Given this mandate, and the PUCO’s mission to facilitate an environment that provides competitive choices, communities should be given priority under AEP’s plan – not moved to the back of the line. The best avenue to economic growth is providing access to low cost, reliable electricity. Instead, this plan inhibits shopping and makes AEP Ohio customers pay a billion dollars in above-market rates for the term of the plan.’
FirstEnergy Solutions and many other competitive retail electric suppliers are prepared to provide AEP Ohio customers with savings for their homes and businesses.”
An explosion rips through Unit 3 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station in northeastern Japan.
LONDON, England — “In much of the world’s nuclear industry today, the watchwords are ‘make do and mend’.
Even before the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 11, prospects for nuclear construction were looking difficult in most of the developed world, mostly because of shaky economics. Weak power demand because of the recession, and cheaper alternatives such as gas and coal, made it difficult to justify investment in reactors.
Where projects were going ahead, they were doing so only with strong government support.
The meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, now ranked by the International Atomic Energy Agency as being as serious as the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, has further dented enthusiasm.
Around the world, countries that were in favour of new nuclear investment have had their confidence shaken. Sceptics have become more firmly opposed, while several of those on the fence have been tipped into rejecting nuclear power. The IAEA says about six countries interested in developing a civil nuclear industry have notified it that they have abandoned their plans.”
COLUMBUS — “Electricity refunds and rate reductions that American Electric Power customers are entitled to would be eliminated if the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approves a settlement filed Sept. 7 by the utility, the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) said in testimony filed late yesterday. The OCC and other parties did not agree with or sign the settlement.
The rate reductions are not part of the settlement and pose a major concern for the OCC. The OCC has advocated for the return of more than $787 million to residential customers as a result of a Supreme Court of Ohio ruling earlier this year. The Court ruled 7-0 that the PUCO improperly allowed AEP to charge customers for unjustified expenses. It sent the case back to the PUCO to reconsider. The case is still pending.
‘The Supreme Court explicitly said AEP did not provide the evidence to justify collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in unjustified costs from consumers and they should be removed from current rates and returned to customers,’ Consumers’ Counsel Janine Migden-Ostrander said. ‘The settlement should not preclude customers from recovering those unwarranted costs they have already paid.’
The settlement also unfairly burden residential customers by allocating up to 65 percent of the requested increase onto residential customers. Based on the OCC’s analysis, AEP’s settlement would increase all Ohio customers’ rates by more than $1.4 billion from 2012 to 2014. Residential customers in the Columbus Southern Power territory would pay 65 percent of Columbus Southern Power’s total revenue increase ($520 million) over the three year period; and residential customers in the Ohio Power territory would pay 47 percent of Ohio Power’s total revenue increase ($911 million).”
— Anthony Rodriguez, Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Council
GARRETT, KY — “When business screeched to a halt at Jerry Howard’s eastern Kentucky mine engineering company two years ago, he decided to call it quits after four decades in the coal industry.
‘We were sort of forced out,’ Howard says of the former company, Walturn, where he was part owner.
Business owners like Howard, politicians and miners in the hilly coalfields of Central Appalachia blame the industry decline on tougher regulation from the Obama administration. They aren’t as ready to talk about something a change in administrations cannot fix. The region’s thick, easy-to-reach seams of coal are running out, forcing many operators to shift to cheaper and more destructive mining methods that draw heavier environmental regulation.”
COLUMBUS — “Environmental advocates have said for years that state officials and regulators are too cozy with industry and don’t give equal weight to public concerns.
The growing interest in oil and gas in Ohio is simply another example, they complain.
‘These agencies have an open-door policy with industry that they don’t with the public,’ said Teresa Mills, director of the Buckeye Environmental Network, an environmental-advocacy group. ‘I guess transparency only goes one way.’
Chesapeake sees its involvement as only natural, company spokesman Matt Sheppard said. ‘We are huge believers in outreach, whether it’s in Ohio or Oklahoma. We are advocates for explaining how the process works and explaining how we do what we do.’
Kasich was an early and vocal supporter for oil and gas exploration. He opened state parks and public lands to drilling, something that had failed to win the support of past governors.
In December, the newly elected governor called shale-gas drilling a ‘godsend for our state.’
Kasich says the state has an opportunity to create thousands of new jobs without harming the environment or threatening people’s health.”
CLEVELAND — “FirstEnergy Corp.’s customers who heat with electricity — and who fought to keep deeply discounted rates — now have another option.
Duke Energy Retail on Tuesday began offering a discounted power price to all-electric customers below what FirstEnergy’s companies are charging them.
The low price is in addition to the discounts FirstEnergy agreed to in a controversial case settled in May before state regulators. That means all-electric customers who take the Duke option would pay power prices of less than 2 cents per kilowatt-hour this winter, along with lower delivery prices.
In that case settled in May by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, FirstEnergy won the right to phase out through 2018 all of the discounts it had offered for about 35 years to all-electric customers.
The Akron company also won permission to raise the rates of other residential customers in the meantime to pay for the discounts to some 100,000 customers who heat with electricity.”
CLEVELAND — “Migden-Ostrander says the decision to step down was entirely her own. Indeed, she answers to an independent board, not the governor. But she said she hopes that ‘by [my] leaving . . . the new consumers’ counsel will be successful in restoring [the agency's] budget.’
She added — and she’s correct — that residential ratepayers need a strong Statehouse advocate. After all, Ohio’s public utilities have an army of Statehouse advocates, many of them members of Kasich’s inner circle.
For instance, Akron-based FirstEnergy (the Illuminating and Ohio Edison companies) has 19 Statehouse lobbyists, including Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff and Franklin County Republican Chairman Douglas Preisse.
And American Electric Power (whose utilities include Canton-based Ohio Power) has 10 Columbus lobbyists, including ex-Kasich congressional aide Donald Thibaut.
The utilities pinned a bull’s-eye on Migden-Ostrander’s back.
If Kasich keeps squeezing her old office, ratepayers might be entitled to wonder if the governor is pinning a bull’s-eye on their backs, too.”
This sign taped to a wall in a Cleveland office building indicates an office of Princeton Environmental Group, which seems to be an empty room with a New Jersey phone number.
CLEVELAND — Environmental Health Watch, Earth Day Coalition, and Ohio Citizen Action sent a letter to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson last week with questions about the air pollution and costs that could come from the city’s proposed garbage incineration “gasifier” plant on Ridge Road. The city has applied for an air pollution permit for this facility and the mayor is currently on a trip to Japan with some of the key proponents of the plan.
Among other questions, the organizations asked the Mayor:
Why does Cleveland Public Power continue to rely on Peter Tien despite a history of broken promises?
The city’s partner in developing the proposal is Princeton Environmental Group, led by Peter Tien – the same individual who was the key player in the city’s failed Sunpo Optu LED light bulb project.
The terms of the contract between CPP and Princeton Environmental Group, signed on March 30, 2010, stated: “Consultant (Princeton Environmental Group) shall establish an office in Cleveland, Ohio, and staff it with residents of the Greater Cleveland area on or before March 31, 2010.” Although Princeton Environmental Group still has no local phone book listing for an office, we were able to find an address on an invoice that Princeton Environmental Group sent to CPP in June 2010. The invoice, which has a New Jersey phone number, listed a local office at 1120 Chester. However, our visit to the local office this summer has shown that it is simply an empty room with a sign on the wall, housed in the offices of the Ralph Tyler Companies. Has the Princeton Environmental Group defaulted on its eighteen-month old contractual obligation to hire local residents?
Princeton Environmental Group was also required to provide numerous documents to CPP on a timeline that was outlined in the contract. We have received very little information on this in our public records requests, but it appears that many of these deadlines were not met.
CHARLESTON, WV — “In holding the hearing in the Appalachian coalfields, Republican members–and their Big Coal bankrolled Democrat allies–had initially brought their thinly veiled political circus of coal industry wags under the banner of ‘Jobs at Risk: Community Impacts of the Obama Administration’s Effort to Rewrite the Stream Buffer Zone Rule.’ In a parting gift to the coal industry, George W. Bush altered the ineffective but longstanding rule that was supposed to prevent companies from dumping toxic coal waste within 100 feet of a stream. Under the Obama administration, the Interior Department has spent more than two years to study a reversal of the manipulation by the Bush administration.
Unlike every single coal industry spokesperson that testified, Gunnoe and legendary coalfield activist Bo Webb live under the fallout of mountaintop removal operations, which have led to the largest forced removal of American citizens since the mid-19th century and left the region in entrenched poverty and unemployment. Webb, who has been actively petitioned by West Virginia residents to wage an independent 2012 Senate campaign against disgraced West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, quickly framed the hearings in a devastating reminder of the overlooked human and health care crises:
The very title of this hearing indicates a bias from this committee against those that are living (and dying) in mountaintop removal mining communities. The title suggests that jobs are at risk if the SBZ rule is corrected. The SBZ rule must be corrected in order to protect The People’s health. It was rewritten by George W. Bush at the cost of people’s health and it needs fixed.”
NAIROBI, Kenya — Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist who began a movement to reforest her country by paying poor women a few shillings to plant trees and who went on to become the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, died here on Sunday. She was 71.
…Dr. Maathai, one of the most widely respected women on the continent, wore many hats — environmentalist, feminist, politician, professor, rabble-rouser, human rights advocate and head of the Green Belt Movement, which she founded in 1977. Its mission was to plant trees across Kenya to fight erosion and to create firewood for fuel and jobs for women.
Dr. Maathai was as comfortable in the gritty streets of Nairobi’s slums or the muddy hillsides of central Kenya as she was hobnobbing with heads of state. She won the Peace Prize in 2004 for what the Nobel committee called ‘her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.’ It was a moment of immense pride in Kenya and across Africa.
Her Green Belt Movement has planted more than 30 million trees in Africa and has helped nearly 900,000 women, according to the United Nations, while inspiring similar efforts in other African countries.”
Letters to Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Rob Portman
6,615 members have sent handwritten letters and petitions to Senator Brown urging him to support US EPA rules that will protect our health from polluting coal plants as of January 24, 2012.
3,751 members have petitioned Senator Portman urging him to support US EPA rules that will protect our health from polluting coal plants as of January 24, 2012.
Please feel free to redistribute content from this website, citing Ohio Citizen Action. Powered by WordPress & Atahualpa