Bexley eyes aggregation program for electricity
When Bexley City Council reconvenes Jan. 12 after its winter break, members will consider legislation to establish an electricity-aggregation program.
The ordinance states that the city would solicit bids from energy companies to create a program that is supplied by renewable energy sources.
Mayor Ben Kessler said city officials are consulting with the Columbus law firm Bricker and Eckler to prepare a request for proposals (RFP). He said the city’s initial research indicates electricity aggregation can be cost-effective.
“We were encouraged that at today’s costs – at least with energy costs being quite low right now – we were able to achieve savings for residents based on some preliminary numbers,” he said.
Communities around Ohio have created local energy-aggregation programs for decades, said Dylan Borchers, an environmental attorney with Bricker and Eckler.
“It’s been utilized by hundreds of communities, and millions of customers use government aggregation,” he said. “Traditionally, communities have aggregated with one purpose in mind, and that was to negotiate a lower price.
“Now that other objectives are being identified and opportunities are becoming available in the market, products seem to achieve other things. For example, local and in-state renewable energy.”
Borchers said the Bexley electricity-aggregation program would be designed with two objectives: to enable residents to opt into renewable electricity provided through city government and to offer a competitive price on electricity.
“In aggregation, we’ve seen a variety of price models. There have been fixed price products, variable price products,” he said. “There are a variety of ways that suppliers might propose to provide a price and that will be part of the process of evaluating the RFP responses to ensure that the price is competitive.”