Informational meeting on avoiding electric rate hikes in Warren
You might call it a sudden pre-summer sticker shock for folks in Warren.
"Everybody's electricity rates have the potential to double," said third ward councilman Greg Greathouse.
But how'd that even happen?
Let's go back to 2006, when Warren residents voted to aggregate their electric and gas through NOPEC - the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council.
"We are a council of governments made up of about 240 communities who have come together to buy natural gas and electricity together," says NOPEC executive director and CEO Chuck Keiper.
Every three years, NOPEC sends out mailers to residents asking if they want to stay in the aggregation or opt out.
In this case, the lower rates NOPEC customers had been paying weren't competitive in a volatile market.
So NOPEC shifted them back over to the original provider - Ohio Edison.
But come June 1, "if they stay with Ohio Edison, their rate will go from 5.5 Cents per kilowatt hour to 12.5 cents per kilowatt hour," said Greathouse.
"If you got the mailer from NOPEC and want to get the lesser price, you don't have to do anything," added Keiper. The rate with NOPEC will be around 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour, or you can shop around.
There are more than 100 providers to pick from to see if you can get a better rate.
"Open market dictates what the rates are going to be and it's up to NOPEC and people like them to try to mitigate those big swings and changes," said Greathouse.
You can find out if your city or municipality is a NOPEC member by visiting its website. You can also shop around the rates of dozens of other electric and gas providers through Energy Choice Ohio.