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Not necessarily. The City has seen with its own electric service for its facilities, which the City has bid out independently, that 100 percent green power has been very competitive, and even lower in cost, than non-green power offerings. Additionally, the City does not charge any overhead or marketing expenses to keep the rates as low as possible.
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The City has offered residents and small businesses in Shaker Heights the option to participate in an opt-out electric aggregation program since 2001, when the City joined the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC). In November 2000, Shaker Heights voters passed by 77 percent a ballot measure that authorized the City to offer an opt-out electric aggregation program.
Now, as part of its ongoing sustainability efforts, the City has elected to offer its own opt-out electric aggregation program. This program will offer 100 percent renewably-sourced or “green” electric supply for eligible customers in Shaker Heights. This program will replace the City’s current electric aggregation program with NOPEC.
A 100 percent green opt-out program would make that supply the default for electric supply for any resident or small business that does not pro-actively elect another option. Switching to a 100 percent green opt-out program would further the City’s intentions of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to address the climate crisis and aligns with recent initiatives such as our LEED for Cities certification and Power a Clean Future Ohio.
The program will be available to eligible customers starting in January 2023.
Note: The program is only open to eligible customers in Shaker Heights.
The following customers are eligible for the City's aggregation program:
The following customers are NOT eligible for the program:
Eligible customers will receive an “opt-out” notice with information about the new electric aggregation program. Eligible customers that do not opt out by following the instructions in this notice will automatically be enrolled in the program 21 days after receiving this notice.
This program is optional. Eligible customers who do not want to join the program should follow the instructions in the notice to opt out of the program. Eligible customers who opt out will not be enrolled in the program.
If you do not receive an opt-out notice, you are not eligible for the program. If you believe this is an error, or you are a new resident, or newly in your current home, contact the City at 216-491-1440.
You will have to terminate your contract early or wait until your contract ends and then enroll in the City’s electric aggregation program. Please note that some suppliers charge an early-termination fee.
No. Customers may leave the program at any time. There is no early termination fee.
When voters passed the ballot measure in November 2000, they authorized the City to form an opt-out electric aggregation program. Under Ohio law, an opt-out governmental aggregation program automatically enlists customers who are eligible without any action by the customers, after the required notice is sent out to them. This results in a large “buying group” that can negotiate for better rates than individual customers.
The City is in the process of seeking a supplier for the program. Once the City selects a supplier, we will update the Electric Aggregation Program page with detailed information about the program, including rates. The City’s goal is to provide a competitive rate for customers enrolled in the program. The City has experience negotiating competitive rates for its gas aggregation program, where its rate was below NOPEC’s approximately 70 percent of the time.
In the current market for renewable energy, 100 percent renewable electric power supply must be provided for an independent aggregation program, like the City is creating, through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECS). It is an additional goal of the City that 100 percent renewable power supply using RECS should be provided only through Green-e RECS, which are independently verified through a third party and are generally a requirement of certification programs like LEED for Cities (Shaker Heights is LEED Gold certified in this program). Ultimately, the City hopes to source power from newly-built renewable energy projects, ideally within the State of Ohio. There is currently more demand than supply for large renewable projects in Ohio, so it may take several years before this is possible.
Until these new projects are available, the City will contract for Renewable Energy Credits. This means that for every electron used in the program, a corresponding electron was generated through wind or solar somewhere in the U.S. and fed into the grid. Since there is no difference in electrons, a REC is how we establish that the electrons we are using have been offset by renewably-generated ones somewhere on the grid. This is verified by an independent third party.
Under a City-operated program the City would have more flexibility to select a supplier, and the term of the contract and rate. We believe the current market provides an opportunity for the City, as a smaller scale aggregation program, to obtain RECs and have a better chance to meet the City’s goals as an independent aggregation program. The City will have more flexibility to go out into the market to seek RECs, and provide supply with very little overhead and no administrative fees being charged to participants.
Experience with the City’s gas program has found that the City’s gas rate has been below NOPEC’s gas rate about 70 percent of the time over the years. Partly this is due to lower overhead for the City’s program. NOPEC costs — administrative, advertising, legal, and programmatic — are paid for through the rates charged to participants.
The market for green power is growing. There may be opportunities for renewable energy for a smaller aggregation that are not available to an aggregation with a much larger load profile. It is expected that there should be a greater availability of Ohio-based renewable power generation by 2026, with negotiations for those supplies commencing in 2023.
Additionally, with its own program, the City would have the flexibility to design specific features that it and residents value. For example, it could elect to source the power from a supplier that generates the electricity within Ohio. This would retain more of the environmental benefits – such as cleaner air and clean energy jobs – within the state and closer to the City.
The City is a member of the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) for its electric aggregation program. NOPEC is a not-for-profit made up of more than 220 Ohio communities (including Shaker Heights) that buys electric in bulk from NextEra Energy Services Ohio, LLC (NESO). Residents in NOPEC communities are automatically enrolled, but may opt out at any time. NOPEC customers have several choices, including a fixed-rate option and 100 percent renewable option.
Customers may switch to another supplier by canceling their NOPEC/NextEra contract at no cost. For more information and to compare rates visit the NOPEC website or the PUCO's Apples to Apples Comparison website.
NOTE: The City is in the process of developing its own 100 percent renewable electric aggregation program to be effective January 2023. Learn more about this program.