Voters to decide on county aggregation programs

TROY – For the Nov. 8 election, Miami County residents in townships and in unincorporated areas will be voting on two issues involving the county joining an aggregation program for electric and natural gas.

An aggregation program allows communities to combine their purchasing power for those utilities. The more households that participate will increase the county’s buying power and will ultimately lower the cost.

The aggregation program is set to be managed by the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO)’s energy services team along with Palmer Energy Company. According to the Miami County Commissioner’s newsletter, “the county will receive no compensation for this program.”

If the issue passes following Election Day, there will be several steps to occur before the aggregation program begins. Letters will be sent out to appropriate households to allow households to opt-out of the program. Bob Snavely, energy consultant with Palmer Energy Company, said there will be no fee to join and no fee to exit at any time.

Snavely would like to advise the residents of Miami County that are searching for cost effective options to check the contracts for any fees associated with leaving and possibly breaking their contracts.

Snavely said the biggest advantage to an aggregation program is the savings residents see. The program sets a consistent electric and natural gas rate which allows for budget certainty.

Charlotte Colley, Miami County administrator said, “Palmer Energy and the CCAO will follow the required guidelines, which include a public bid for energy services and if one comes back that projects savings, those that are impacted, the board will have the opportunity to vote on it to move forward.”

Commissioner Gregory Simmons said, “It’s up to the county. Check out the information we’ve sent out to make a wise decision on this issue.”

Commissioner Ted Mercer said, “This aggregation is centered on folks in the unincorporated areas of the county. This was an area we thought we could help the taxpayers of Miami County save money on their utility bill. That’s why we wanted to put this out to a public vote because we thought that would be something they would be interested in.”

For more information, visit the Palmer Energy website at http://www.palmerenergy.com/Programs-CCAO.php or contact the Miami County Commissioners at 937-440-5910.