As the result of an auction last month to provide electricity to FirstEnergy customers at reduced electric rates, residents and small businesses will see lower electric bills beginning this month.
“The rates really came in substantially less than what was expected,” Paul Goldberg, Oregon’s law director, said at Oregon City Council’s committee of the whole meeting last Monday. Goldberg is the city’s representative on the Northwest Ohio Aggregation Coalition (NOAC), a group of communities that buy power in bulk to reduce costs.
“Toledo Edison residential customers using 750 kw per hour, which is about average, are going to see an approximate decrease of 13 percent in the cost of generation starting this year,” said Goldberg.
Council last week had passed an ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract as part of NOAC to solicit bids to hopes of getting power even cheaper.
“I’m happy to report we’ve been able to do that,” said Goldberg. Oregon, and other communities represented by NOAC, will see a cost savings of $32 million annually in their electric bills, he said.
“On top of that $32 million, we received bids from FirstEnergy Solutions and Dominion Retail to provide aggregated power for our NOAC residents,” said Goldberg. FirstEnergy Solutions provided three alternate bids.
FirstEnergy Solutions had the best offer, he said. “One rate will be for residential, and one for small commercial. In addition to the $32 million in savings, there will be another $20 million in savings over a two year period, for a total cost savings of $52 million for consumers, he said.
The reduced costs translates into an average of $70 in savings over two years, he said.
“It’s not a fortune, but everything in a down direction is helpful. I appreciate council passing that ordinance last week. We have to act quickly on these things because prices can change very quickly. We received the actual contract today with FirstEnergy Solutions via email. We’re going to have to go over it in a fair amount of detail to make sure it’s everything they said they’re going to give us. The contract is 28 pages long, so it may take a little while to go over it. All in all, that’s very good news,” said Goldberg, who also hopes to get lower rates for municipal buildings.
Residents, as part of an opt-out program, will automatically receive the lower rates from FirstEnergy Solutions, unless they sign a waiver that allows them to opt-out and choose their own providers, said Goldberg.
“FES will send them a postcard offering them that opportunity,” he said.