By Megan Alley
Next month, voters in the villages of Moscow and New Richmond, and Batavia and Monroe Townships will decide if they want to join together with other residents in their respective communities to potentially save money on energy costs.
Government leaders from each of the jurisdictions recently agreed to put the issue to a public vote, letting residents decide whether or not they should establish a governmental energy aggregation program — to receive better rates on energy — in their communities.
In the villages of Moscow and New Richmond, voters will decide if they want to join together to purchase electricity as a group, in an effort to save money.
In Batavia and Monroe Townships, voters will be asked to weigh in on two ballot issues; they’ll decide if they want to join together to purchase electricity as a group, and natural gas as a group.
If approved, a jurisdiction will negotiate energy rates and choose a supplier on the residents’ behalf.
Notably, each jurisdiction has included an opt-out provision, which means residents can choose to not participate in the program and find their own rates.
Some of the jurisdictions are working with Energy Alliances, Inc., an energy broker and governmental aggregation consulting firm based in Cincinnati, on the effort.
“This is nothing that the village profits from or anything,” New Richmond Village Administrator Greg Roberts said during a July council meeting. “As a customer, we may profit from a lower rate, depending on what they negotiate with providers, but obviously the incentive to do this is potentially lower electricity bills for everyone in the village.”
In 2015, voters in Union Township approved ballot issues to let the township negotiate a lower price on natural gas and electricity.
For more information on this and other issues facing voters this Nov., please visit the Clermont County Board of Elections site: http://www.clermontelections.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2017/08/qis-certified-for-general-election-11-7-17-1.pdf.