CINCINNATI — “Cincinnati voters approved electric aggregation in the city with a vote of 59% in favor, giving the go-ahead to form a community-buying group for electric that could provide substantial savings on electric bills.
When Ohio deregulated electricity in 1999, Ohio Citizen Action played a critical role in convincing the legislature to enact a new provision known as “public aggregation.” The effort to include aggregation was led by Ohio Citizen Action staff members Shari Weir and Jennifer O’Donnell. Ms. O’Donnell is Assistant to Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls. Vice Mayor Qualls introduced the ordinance in Cincinnati City Council this summer.
The aggregation law allows residents of municipalities or townships to vote to have their local government serve as their representative in negotiating with electricity providers. The provision greatly increases the bargaining power of residential customers, and can be used to secure lower electric rates, bargain for the sources of electricity, or devise creative energy efficiency plans.
Ohio Citizen Action worked hard to educate voters about issue 44 in Cincinnati by attending dozens of candidate and issue nights, appearing on WVXU’s “Impact Cincinnati” radio show with MaryAnn Zeleznick and released a report entitled “Plugging into savings: Communities lower electric bills through competition” which showed Greater Cincinnati area communities had saved millions of dollars through electric aggregation.
All told, Ohio Citizen Action has a 7-4 record in state and local ballot initiative campaigns, and has won the last five in a row.”
— Rachel Belz, Coal Program Organizer, Ohio Citizen Action
— Abby Miller, Record Herald