MANSFIELD -- The residents of Mansfield and Ontario should soon see lower electric rates, as both cities began electric aggregation contracts with Dynegy Energy Services in early July.
The city of Mansfield entered a 34-month electric aggregation contract for a fixed rate of 4.915 cents per kilowatt hour, and the city of Ontario secured a rate of 4.99 cents per kilowatt hour for the next three years.
Mansfield and Ontario residents should have received notification about the electric aggregation program via mail, informing them that -- so long as they haven’t opted out of previous programs -- they need to do nothing further to receive the fixed rate. They will automatically be included in the program.
How do I pay my bill?
How Mansfield and Ontario residents pay their electric bills will not change. Electric bills should arrive as usual.
Those with automatic payments deducted from their checking accounts do not need to take any steps for this to continue. The same applies to those using budget billing.
Through the electric aggregation contract, Dynegy Energy will act as the electricity supplier to Ohio Edison. Ohio Edison will then act as the “delivery service” for that power to its customers. This will be reflected on the bill via “charges for electricity supplied by Dynegy” and “delivery service charges from Ohio Edison.”
“Ohio Edison will continue to deliver your electricity and will be responsible for maintaining the system that delivers power into your home. As your energy delivery company, they will continue to respond around-the-clock to outages, service calls and emergencies regardless of your electric supplier,” read a letter from the City of Mansfield and Dynegy.
People should see the changes on their monthly electric bill 45 to 60 days after enrollment and receive a “switch” letter from Ohio Edison, confirming their enrollment.
What if I want to opt out?
If at any time during the electric aggregation contract, a resident feels they can secure a better electric rate by opting out of the program.
This can be done by calling 888-682-2170. People will then be served by Ohio Edison under its standard service offer unless they choose an alternative electric supplier.
Ontario service safety director Jeff Wilson has previously said finding a better rate could be challenging. Ontario’s rates ranged between 5.25 and 5.75 cents per kilowatt hour before the new contract.
Mansfield city engineer Bob Bianchi echoed Wilson’s opinion in a recent conversation. Last year at a council meeting, he presented a price comparison chart that showed city residents in the current electric aggregation program would have saved $54.46 between January 2017 and February 2018 had they been with Dynegy. This figure was based on a usage of 900 kilowatt hours per month.
What if I want the better rate but currently have a third party supplier?
Those who are currently with a third party supplier will not be automatically put into the government aggregation program, Bianchi said.
They should have received a letter different than most residents. The “opt-in” letter should offer them the opportunity to join the aggregation program.
Bianchi warned people in this situation to first check with their current provider for potential termination fees.
"Some individuals who have gone out through Vector and IGS have a contract with a third party. They are not automatically enrolled," Bianchi said. "They need to be aware, they may have a termination fee with their provider.
"I think someone buying … hard pressed to find a price like that. They have to be aware of their termination fee."
Why is this a program I'm automatically enrolled in?
In 2010, this issue was placed on Mansfield's ballot, and voters approved the process so the city could competitively purchase electricity as a large buying group.
"The administration wanted to provide an opportunity for someone to take advantage of lower rates. They don’t have to, but they can, and it provides an avenue to potentially save on electric costs," Bianchi said.
The same is true in Ontario. The issue was placed on the ballot and approved by residents.
What if I have more questions?
With questions, contact Dynegy at DynegyCustomerService@dynegy.com or call 888-682-2170.