ZANESVILLE, Ohio – The Zanesville City Council passed a measure last night that allows voters to decide whether they would agree to entering an energy aggregation agreement for their electric and natural gas utilities. Zanesville Mayor Don Mason discussed the reason for the proposal and how it can benefit the city’s utility customers.
“Over the last several years we’ve seen increases both on natural gas as well as electricity supply,” Mason said. ” And I’ve become somewhat alarmed that as citizens are trying to deal with increased cost of gasoline and groceries and everything else they’re going to be hit with one more escalation this summer and that’s going to be for electricity and again one more escalation next winter and that’s going to be for natural gas.”
Mason remarked that he has seen the costs of energy generation rise dramatically and that aggregation has proved successful in offering lower rates amidst energy cost increases and spikes. Ohio customers have the option to choose a marketer for their utilities and that municipalities can band together to leverage lower group-rates.
“So what we are looking at doing in Zanesville,” Mason said. “On the May ballot and we might have to push it to November, but we’re looking at the May ballot, of allowing consumers to vote for municipal aggregation of both gas and electric. That will allow the city, through the use of a broker or supplier to go out and bid for the total package of residential and small commercial customers, and hopefully get a better rate.”
Mason noted that if passed, residents will have the option to opt out and that customers that have already signed into agreements will have to remain in those agreements until they expire.