NOPEC is taking immediate steps to put all of its customers in a position to save significant money on their electric bills.
The agency, which negotiates for natural gas and electricity on behalf of residents in 240 Ohio communities, is switching all its customers to a less expensive electricity provider -- in this case, FirstEnergy -- after facing skyrocketing prices from its own provider.
Chuck Keiper, executive director and CEO of NOPEC, outlines the issue here:
- We have decided to temporarily transition our approximately 550,000 electric customers enrolled in the Standard Program Price option back to the utility default service for the remainder of this year and into the Spring of 2023 so that they may take advantage of significantly lower pricing until the market stabilizes.
- While individual customers who previously contacted NOPEC could change to the lower utility rate at no charge, we decided it was in all our consumers’ best interest to temporarily switch all of our customers en masse to the utility service.
- NOPEC's current electric rates are higher than the utility's Price to Compare (PTC) because the utility's rate was determined largely in auctions conducted prior to April 2022, when energy prices were considerably lower.
- NOPEC electric customers do not have to do anything to start getting the lower rates and will not be charged any fee to transfer. NOPEC will immediately notify the electric utilities to return its Standard Program Price accounts to the default service. Depending on each customer’s meter read date, it may take one to two billing cycles for the transfer to take effect.
- Customers will receive a letter from NOPEC detailing the reason for the change and direction regarding where they can go for more information (sample attached). Customers may also receive a notice from their utility confirming the change.
- Opt-in customers, those on either fixed price or “percent off” NOPEC price programs will NOT be returned to PTC at this time.
- Customers that are returned to the utility’s default service will remain eligible for NOPEC's aggregation program in the future. By Spring 2023, NOPEC is forecasting that energy markets will normalize and its electric rates will be in line with the utilities’ newly established Price to Compare and all eligible customers in NOPEC member communities will be notified via mail that they will be automatically re-enrolled in NOPEC at that time, unless they notify NOPEC that they wish to opt out.
- NOPEC’s natural gas aggregation is unaffected and will continue uninterrupted. NOPEC’s current natural gas price is still lower than other retail offers as well as the current Dominion East Ohio and Columbia Gas default service rates.
- NOPEC intends to do its very best to ensure continuity of its aggregation program member benefits. NOPEC’s energy efficiency grants and event sponsorship awards will be made available to member communities in early 2023 as they would normally and NOPEC’s energy-efficiency financing programs will continue uninterrupted as well.