By Lenny C. Lepola firstname.lastname@example.org
January 29, 2014
Energy aggregation 1-year contract nears end
Sunbury’s energy broker Scott Belcastro, Trebel LLC, was in chambers during last Wednesday’s (January 22) Sunbury Village Council meeting to report that the Village facility electric aggregation two-year contract, currently at the halfway point, is on track to save Sunbury approximately 30 percent on its electric bill.
Belcastro also noted that the Village’s governmental aggregation program that contracts residential and small business electricity from Border Energy ends in March or April. Sunbury residents save 15 percent of electricity generation costs by contracting with Border Energy; small businesses save 10 percent.
Belcastro said if the Village extends its current contract without changes he would not have to re-file the contract with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Even a modest contract change, like eliminating the early termination fee, would be cause to re-file, and opt-out letters would have to be sent to residents.
“I think it’s beneficial to the Village if you extend the existing 15 percent savings that your residents receive from Border Energy,” Belcastro said. “There would be no change, so there would be no opt out letters to send out. If we came back and gave 16 percent savings or 17 percent or even 14 percent we would have to re-file because it’s a change in the contract.”
Sunbury mayor Tommy Hatfield said that Council members had promised Village residents the option to review the aggregation program and opt-in or opt-out after 12 months.
“We said that’s how it’s going to be,” Hatfield said. “We need to keep our promise.”
Council member Jennifer Witt said she would prefer to continue with the 15 percent savings, and eliminate the early termination fee.
“We can approach Border Energy,” Belcastro replied. “But any change, even the early termination fee, and we would have to re-file, and I would still have to send opt-out letters.”
Belcastro said Sunbury has 865 customers still active in the program — residents and small businesses.
“We started with 1,384 out of 1,815 possible,” Belcastro said. “Some had agreements with other providers, some would not qualify because they were on assistance, we had 1,201 after that. 1,186 were accepted by the utility, and then there were the opt-outs.
“This next round you’ll see some numbers go up when some resident’s contracts with other providers are up,” Belcastro added. “Look what you did for your community. You got 5 percent better for your community then you could get anywhere else.”
In other business, Council members approved spending $18,165 for a computer and specialized software and $3,950 for a service contract for the Sunbury Wastewater Treatment Plant control system; approved a $270,100 PO for 11 months of Village employee healthcare from Medical Mutual (January’s payment was made separately); and approved paying the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission’s $4,393 annual fee.
Sunbury Village Council meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month in third floor Council Chambers, Sunbury Town Hall. In months with five Wednesdays on the calendar Council members will hold a meeting on the fifth Wednesday, unless formally cancelled by a motion and a vote at a previous council session.
All Sunbury Village Council and Council committee meetings are open to the public.
Sunbury’s website is located at < sunburyvillage.com >.