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Important Message Regarding Seven Hills Electricity Rates
Date: April 6, 2023
Re: MAKING CENTS OF YOUR ELECTRIC BILL
As many of you may have heard, The Illuminating Company will be raising the rates for electricity this June to 10.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, essentially doubling the current price.
You may know that Seven Hills is in an aggregate with NOPEC, along with over 200 other communities in Ohio. In August of 2022, NOPEC went out to bid to purchase electricity. At the time, energy prices had just skyrocketed and therefore the purchase price of electricity was considerably higher than The Illuminating Company’s Price to Compare rate that had been purchased 11 months earlier. Because of this cost discrepancy and the strain it put on their 550,000 customers, NOPEC had relinquished its electric customers back to The Illuminating Company so they could receive a more competitive rate. Since then, The Illuminating Company has gone to bid for electricity and the market price has remained high. This puts NOPEC back in a competitive position offering electric rates. In March, NOPEC has been recertified by Public Utilities Companies of Ohio (PUCO) and our city will be rejoining them for electric aggregation in June of 2023.
If you were one of the customers who was on NOPEC, or if you are currently on The Illuminating Company’s Price to Compare program, you will be receiving a letter asking if you would like to OPT OUT. If you would like to opt out and shop for the rate and or contract that suits you best, you will send the postcard back or call the number they have provided. If you would like to rejoin NOPEC, simply do nothing and you will be registered. For this situation, NOPEC will be enrolling everyone into a 6-month fixed rate of 6.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. When that expires, you will be subject to the rate current at that time.
NOPEC has the following options available for its customers:
Option #1: The Standard Program Rate: This rate adjusts every 1-3 months. You are automatically assigned this option when you get enrolled.
*Note -When measured over a 12-month period, this has been the highest rate of their three options.
Option #2: The Monthly Variable Rate: Once a resident has been on the standard rate for at least one month, they can choose to go with another option. This option is a variable rate that adjusts every month and is calculated as a 6% discount off The Illuminating Company’ s Price-to-Compare rate.
*Note - When measured over a 12-month period, this has been the best rate option. Most often, this rate is lower than the fixed rate options of any other company at the time of selection.
Option #3: Fixed Rate: This option allows the customer to get a fixed rate for either 12 or 24 months.
*Note- Some people like the longer-term predictability of their utility bills.
NOPEC does not have a monthly charge or termination fee, and you can toggle between options at no cost.
Background: When NOPEC rolled customers back to their default utility service last fall, they did it in two steps. October-November for the first group and January for the second group. The first group consisted of residents that were on the Standard NOPEC Program Rate who were switched back to First Energy. The second group consisted of residents who were enrolled in Option 2. They were switched back to First Energy in January.
Rolling Back to NOPEC: In most cases, it takes 1-2 billing cycles for the process to be completed. To start, everyone will automatically be enrolled in the Standard NOPEC Program Rate. The rate at that point in time will be a fixed at 6.45 cents per kilowatt-hour for 6 months. As of your December 1st meter read date, you should familiarize yourself with the new Standard Program Rate price by contacting NOPEC and make an economic decision at that point, on what plan is best for you.
Non-NOPEC customers: Those who wish to switch to NOPEC should check with the current utility provider to determine if they will be charged an early termination fee (typically, anywhere from $25 - $200).
To be an informed consumer, I recommend you do a little research to find the best pricing. One way you can do that is to check prices at NOPEC.org for their offer, and then compare them with the State of Ohio’s Energy Choice website https://energychoice.ohio.gov . Within that site, you will go to “Compare Electric Offers” and then pick The Illuminating Company. You will be given a list of companies and rates. Economically, after searching prices from those sites, the safest play has been taking the lowest fixed rate option for the longest term as long as it has no early termination or monthly fee. With no early termination fee, you are in the driver’s seat and can move to another company if the prices ever go lower, without penalty. Before signing up with a new company you will need to know if you are currently under contract with a third-party supplier. You can find this information in the box under the section of your bill that says, “Charges from The Illuminating Company”. There, you should find the name and number of your supplier. You want to call that company to see if you are still under contract with them, or on a month-to-month variable rate, and if there is any penalty to cancel your account with them. If the offer is better than your current deal, you can call the company you are choosing to go with and begin the process.
Director of Community Service
City of Seven Hills