Mingo bargains on electric budgets

MINGO JUNCTION – Residents may not have the option of having a budget payment plan once the village’s electric aggregation program goes into effect this summer.

John Ney, an energy consultant with World Energy, told about 15 people at a public hearing on the electric aggregation program on Wednesday in the Municipal Building that electric suppliers do not allow a budget payment plan but some are considering bringing it back.

Ney said he may include that as a negotiating point when he begins getting rates from electric suppliers.

Village voters earlier this month approved the electric aggregation plan during the primary election.

Village Council is reviewing a governance plan that will be submitted to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to be certified. Once that is completed, Ney will begin accepting rates from electric suppliers. Council then will review and approve a contract. Ney said the contract will be for up to three years. He favors a longer agreement because electric rates are expected to increase during the next couple years.

The selected supplier then will mail village residents offering to allow them to opt out of the electric aggregation program.

Some residents at the public hearing said they already are under contract with an electric supplier. They would face a penalty for leaving their existing contract. Residents will have 21 days to return the mailer or they will automatically be enrolled in the village’s electric aggregation program.

Residents wanted to know the negotiated electric rate, and Ney said he would ask the selected supplier to put the rate in the mailer. Residents could expect the lower rates to be in effect in July, Ney said. He also said, based on current rates, the average electric customer could save about $170 a year.

A second public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 22 in the Municipal Building.