ANDERSON TWP — “Anderson Township residents could see some electric savings this year if township officials move forward with an electric aggregation proposal.
Assistant Administrator Suzanne Parker said they’ve been looking at options for electric aggregation where township officials would negotiate with electric companies for a lower rate, with the average price falling between 4 cents and 6 cents per kilowatt hour.
…If everything goes smoothly, the trustees could consider the electric aggregation program at the July 19 meeting. If the trustees approve this program, Parker said they’d work to educate residents about potential savings.”
— Lisa Wakeland, Forest Hills Journal
CINCINNATI — “Cincinnati’s electric aggregation program has now officially been in place for more than a month.
City spokeswoman Meg Olberding said some residents should notice a change soon.
‘So folks in the city who are now part of this will start seeing the savings reflected in their July bills,’ Olberding said.
Voters approved electric and gas aggregation last November. It lets officials negotiate lower rates for these services as a large buying block.”
— Jay Hanselman, WVXU
link to article
CINCINNATI — “Eligible residential and small business customers are now receiving their welcome packet for the new buying group formed after voters authorized the City to negotiate group savings for electricity and natural gas last fall. Read the City Manager’s most recent memo, including Q&A about the buying group, here.
Consumers who want to take advantage of the buying group savings of 23 percent, estimated at just over $133 per year for the average household, need do nothing. If you receive the welcome packet, you are automatically enrolled in the city buying group and will realize savings under the new contract with FirstEnergy Solutions in 30-45 days. However, customers should not sign on with a new supplier in the meantime. Energy suppliers are marketing aggressively to sign consumers up before the City’s buying group starts operating.
Read more about the City’s groundbreaking contract for cheaper electricity backed by 100 percent Renewable Energy Credits here.
The City will begin the process of negotiating natural gas prices in June.”
– Roxanne Qualls, Vice Mayor, City of Cincinnati
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND May 8 —“The people of Cincinnati, Ohio, have recently begun to take decisions about where their electricity comes from into their own hands. A group called Ohio Citizen Action – the largest environmental and consumer advocacy group in the state – teamed up with Greenpeace to help organise public support for putting a ballot initiative in front of the city’s local authorities. That initiative allowed the City to bargain for electricity on behalf of its residents with the goal of reducing cost and prioritising renewable energy sources. Rachael Belz was one of the key figures behind the campaign – she is the Cincinnati Program director for Ohio Citizen Action – and spoke to Will Pollard from 95bFM.”
— Will Pollard, News and Editorial Director, 95bFM, Auckland, New Zealand
Cincinnati Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls presented the award to Ohio Citizen Action Coal Program Organizer Rachael Belz.
CINCINNATI — The Local Energy Aggregation Network (LEAN Energy U.S.), a national organization promoting “community choice” for electricity, has awarded Ohio Citizen Action as “Community Choice Advocate of the Year” in honor of its public aggregation campaign in Cincinnati. Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls presented the award to Ohio Citizen Action Coal Program Organizer Rachael Belz, who led the campaign, at a party in Belz’s honor this weekend.
Ohio Citizen Action was instrumental in passing Ohio’s community choice, or public aggregation law, in 1999. The law allows communities to vote to form a city-wide buying group for electricity. Last fall, Qualls led Cincinnati City Council to put the aggregation measure on the ballot. The measure passed by a vote of 59-41%. In response to the public’s call for the use of cleaner and cheaper energy, Cincinnati became the first big city in the country to choose to purchase 100% renewable energy for its residents.
— Sandy Buchanan, Executive Director, Ohio Citizen Action
Experience of failed natural-gas aggregation has city officials moving slowly
UPPER ARLINGTON — “As Upper Arlington considers the rewards of a program to let its residents buy electricity in bulk, it hasn’t forgotten the pitfalls of a similar program for natural gas.
The Upper Arlington City Council is considering a contract with either Toledo-based First Energy Solutions or AEP Retail that would lock in electricity prices for two years for city residents who participate. Council could vote to select a provider at its May 14 meeting.
…Electricity is treated less like a commodity than natural gas and might be less volatile because a larger component of it is built around fixed assets, such as power lines and generators, said William A. Adams, a legal consultant for Upper Arlington.”
— By Dean Narciso The Columbus Dispatch
Continue reading Upper Arlington considers electricity bulk buy
Rachael Belz will discuss Ohio Citizen Action’s successful efforts to provide Cincinnati citizens with a clean energy alternative to Duke Energy.
AURORA, IN — “Liberal Fix RadioThe May 4th edition of Liberal Fix radio will feature special guest Rachael Belz of Ohio Citizen Action. Together Rachael and host Dan Bimrose will discuss exactly how Ohio Citizen Action was able to help provide Cincinnati citizens with a clean energy alternative to energy super power Duke Energy.
In addition to covering all the latest progressive and liberal news stories Dan will complete the show with a special commentary on Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan.
Liberal Fix Radio is a Bimrose Progressive Media project and was preceded by their flagship blog Liberal Fix.
You can listen to Liberal Fix Radio live every Friday at midnight on their show page. LIBERAL FIX RADIO”
— Dan Bimrose, Bimrose Progressive Media — SBWIRE
Continue reading Ohio Citizen Action’s Rachael Belz to appear on Liberal Fix Radio
CINCINNATI — “Spread across a number of hills and bluffs overlooking the Ohio River, Cincinnati, the ‘Queen of the West’ — an epithet from its early years acknowledging its commanding growth and enterprise — long has been partial to electricity produced from coal. For decades, the conservative city on Ohio’s southern border with Kentucky has been powered almost exclusively by giant plants along the river. From Cincinnati Gas & Electric to Cinergy to Duke Energy Ohio, utilities have kept the electrons coming, helping to keep the lights on for some 300,000 Cincinnatians. Coal currently fuels an estimated 85% of the city’s electric generation. But no more. On Wednesday, City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. made a decision that could reverberate through the region. This summer, Cincinnati will become the first major city in the US to supply 100% “green” power to eligible residential and small business customers. . . .
In November, Cincinnati easily passed a referendum authorizing the city government to pool its power purchases in a bid to cut energy costs. In February, the city issued a request for proposals seeking both conventional and renewable energy [to supply nearly 1 million megawatt-hours annually]. Environmental advocacy groups such as Ohio Citizen Action, with headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, lobbied the city to move away from coal and in the direction of green, sustainable energy. Dohoney said he began his decision-making process ‘with no pre-determined outcomes in mind. This process provided the opportunity to promote renewable energy, and places Cincinnati as a national leader, at the forefront of green energy in this country. That is where we want Cincinnati to be.’
Rachel Belz, Ohio Citizen Action’s coal program coordinator and a Cincinnati resident, called the green power decision ‘very exciting. Obviously, the fact that it’s 100 percent renewable energy through renewable energy credits is exactly what we were looking for.’”
— Bob Matyi, Platts Electric Utility Week, April 30, 2012, subscription only, no full text
CINCINNATI — “This is big news.
The announcement is the culmination of a campaign that started last fall, when Ohio Citizen Action and Greenpeace ran a successful ballot initiative to allow the City to bargain for electricity on behalf of its residents. The voters passed the initiative by a resounding 59-41 percent. In February, the coalition was successful in rallying the citizens of Cincinnati to give the city a clear mandate to supply 100 percent renewable energy and no ‘fracked’ natural gas. The Council responded with resounding approval of the people’s demands, unanimously passing a motion asking bidders to include a 100 percent Renewable Energy Credit option (in addition to a lowest cost electricity option).
…A renewable energy future for the city of Cincinnati is great news; it is a great first step in the direction we need to go as a nation. It is time to see real, deployed, and distributed renewable energy solutions across America.”
— Phil Radford, Greenpeace and Sandy Buchanan, Ohio Citizen Action
Continue reading Cincinnati dumps Duke Energy
CINCINNATI — “Cincinnati hopes its energy supply will soon be cheaper and greener.The city said Thursday it will be the first major city in America to choose a 100 percent ‘green’ electricity supply for its eligible residents and small businesses while saving as many as 53,000 households money through the city’s Government Aggregation Program.The city has selected First Energy Solutions as the city’s new electricity provider through an aggregation process in which the city represents all eligible individual customers as one larger buying unit to negotiate a lower price on electricity.”
CINCINNATI — “Cincinnati will be the first major city in America to choose a 100% ‘green’ electricity supply for its eligible residents and small businesses while saving as many as 53,000 households money through the City’s Government Aggregation Program.
The City has selected First Energy Solutions (FES) as the City’s new electricity provider through an aggregation process in which the City represents all eligible individual customers as one larger buying unit to negotiate a lower price on electricity. Specifically, Cincinnati is collectively becoming a giant consumer to whom the green energy market can sell.
FES’s selection will save the average eligible household approximately $133 per year on their electricity bills. Energy aggregation was proposed by City Council and approved by voters in November 2011.”
— Meg Olberding, Communications Director, City of Cincinnati
Continue reading Cincinnati becomes first major city to offer 100% green electricity to residents
CINCINNATI — “The city of Cincinnati received proposals from seven companies willing to provide discounted rates on electric service using renewable resources. It’s part of an aggregation program authorized by Cincinnati voters in November and modified by Cincinnati City Council in February.
Cincinnati is trying to become the largest city in the country to source 100 percent of its energy supply from renewables, including wind, solar and biomass.
The city asked bidders to quote their best rates for electric rates from any source, including coal-burning power plants, nuclear and natural gas. It also asked suppliers to quote their best rate including the purchase of renewable energy credits, which are used to cleaner-burning power generation plants.
By offsetting the city’s consumption with renewable power generation, the city can claim its energy comes from up to 100 percent renewable resources.”
— Dan Monk, Cincinnati Business Courier
Read the whole story: http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/blog/2012/04/bidders-line-up-to-provide-renewable.html
— Kate Melges, Greenpeace
HAMILTON CO — “Residents of seven Hamilton County municipalities will have the opportunity to save about 24 percent on the generation portion of their electric bills starting in May, under an aggregation agreement with Dayton-based DP&L Energy.
The municipalities are the cities of Cheviot and Springdale; the villages of Amberley, Glendale, Lockland and Indian Hill; and Columbia Township. They agreed for the first time to pool their residential electric demand under aggregation provisions of Ohio’s electric deregulation law.
‘By working together I believe we ended with a better result than if we worked as individual communities,’ said Michael Burns, city manager in Indian Hill, which established the first area aggregation plan in 2001.
Under the agreement, the 15,000 residential customers in the seven communities will pay a generation rate of 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour through May 2014, compared with Duke Energy’s current price-to-compare of 5.9 cents per kilowatt-hour.”
— Mike Boyer, Cincinnati Enquirer
Read the whole story: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120321/BIZ/303210092/7-areas-pool-electric-demand?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Business
CINCINNATI— In February, Cincinnati City Councilmembers unanimously passed a motion directing the city administration to include 100% renewable power as a part of the city’s request for proposals for residential and small business electric and gas contracts. The request was sent to all qualified electric and gas providers in the Duke Energy Ohio service territory and are due back by March 27 at 4 p.m. City Manager Milton Dohoney has the final say on which contract is signed.
There are three “products” the City will accept bids on for electric contracts:
1. Conventional Retail Electric Service
This product is based upon the cheapest price possible, regardless of the source of the energy.
This product would be backed by 100% matching Renewable Energy Certificates for all of the energy provided.
This is a variation of product #2, but would be a Renewable Energy Certificate commitment of less than 100% but greater than 12.5%, the current required renewable energy resource mix under Ohio law.
— Rachael Belz, Coal program organizer, Ohio Citizen Action
Link to full request
WASHINGTON, D.C. — “In 30 states, citizens have just one choice for their electricity service. It’s like the old communist truism: ‘You can have any color car you want, as long as it’s red.’ What if citizens could collectively shop around for electricity in bulk to get lower prices and cleaner, local power?
In six states they can with community choice aggregation.
Community choice aggregation is an alternative to (or complement to) electricity deregulation, allowing residential and commercial customers to choose a different electricity provider. The linchpin, and difference from traditional deregulation, is that community choice aggregation allows municipalities to aggregate their customers and bid on their behalf, obtaining lower prices by buying in bulk. It also allows for local determination of electricity supply without requiring a city to buy the distribution grid of the utility (although Boulder, CO, and some Massachusetts towns are considering that step). Under community choice aggregation, the municipality is the electricity purchaser, but the utility retains control of the grid. (It should be noted that while community choice is a step shy of full retail deregulation, every state with a CCA law has experienced full retail deregulation).
Community choice aggregation can provide a community a lot of power: to choose local electricity generation over remote, to choose local ownership over absentee, and to choose clean energy over dirty. And without having to finance and buy the local grid, it can come at a much lower financial and political cost.”
— John Farrell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Read the whole story