May 23, 2023

11 area cities banding together to negotiate energy costs for residents, businesses

A coalition of 11 area cities is seeking proposals from electricity providers before it votes on a service for residents and small businesses in mid-June.

The group currently consisting of Centerville, Clayton, Englewood, Fairborn, Germantown, Kettering, Miamisburg, Moraine, Trotwood, Vandalia and West Carrollton is sending out a request for proposals this week, Miami Valley Communications Council Executive Director Jay Weiskircher said.

Weiskircher said the coalition expects to eventually include Brookville, Eaton and Union, three communities in which voters approved aggregation earlier this month.

“Obviously by banding together, we’re going to get the most competitive rates we can get,” Weiskircher said. “It’s going to be much more competitive than if communities did this on their own.”

Toledo-based consultant Palmer Energy expects “at least five or six firms” to offer submissions, he said.

“They said that this is very desirable among the providers because it’s such a large group,” Weiskircher said.

Electricity providers will have until June 12 to submit proposals with the coalition voting on a choice shortly thereafter, according to Weiskircher.

The goal is to roll the electricity package to residents and small businesses in participating cities in September, October at the latest, he said.

The plan is to lock in rates for one-year increments up to three years depending on the business supplier, Weiskircher has said.

Proposals for a natural gas provider for the MVCC group are expected to be sought later this summer, according to Weiskircher.

At this point, the number of cities that would be involved in the natural gas effort is uncertain, he said.

“We’ll have to see,” Weiskircher said. “I would envision — depending on what type of rates we get — that there may be other communities that decide to join down the road here.”

The electricity coalition also has named a board of directors, he said. Kettering City Manager Matt Greeson will chair the board, which will also include Clayton City Manager Amanda Zimmerlin, Miamisburg City Manager Keith Johnson, Moraine City Manager Mike Davis and Weiskircher, he said.

That group will make a recommendation to the full 11-member delegation on which provider to choose, Weiskircher said.

Greeson said he looks forward to offering residents and small businesses a way to help curb energy costs.

“I am very hopeful that the collaborative effort we have undertaken will pay off this fall,” Greeson said in an email.

Among the factors the board will consider include provider successes, service offerings, cost and the length of services, he said.

MVCC member cities include Centerville, Germantown, Kettering, Miamisburg, Moraine, Oakwood, Springboro and West Carrollton.

It also has more than 20 affiliate communities ranging from Sidney and Urbana to the north, and Middletown to the south, according to its website.

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