After spending several weeks reviewing proposals from seven energy providers as part of Cincinnati’s initiative to power homes using energy aggregation, a decision was made April 26 — and it’s a green one.
Cincinnati has selected First Energy Solutions (FES) as the city’s new electricity provider, which will make it the first major city in the U.S. to use a 100 percent “green” electricity supply.
The aggregation process works like this: All eligible individual customers “pool” their buying power to form a larger unit, which holds more leverage to negotiate lower prices on electricity.
Cincinnati voters passed a ballot initiative in November to approve the city’s efforts to begin energy aggregation and choose a provider.
The designation of FES’s energy supply as “green” energy doesn’t mean that residents will see windmills and solar panels popping up across the city’s landscape; rather, the energy will be designated “green” based on renewable energy credits, each of which represents proof that one megawatt-hour of electricity has been sourced from a “renewable” energy resource.
FES will provide the city with enough credits to power all interested consumers’ homes, meaning no home opted-in to the aggregation power will use electricity sourced from non-renewable resources such as coal.
“Not only will we be able to put real money back in people’s pockets, but this establishes the city as a leader in supporting green energy choices,” said Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, who spearheaded the push to provide consumers with an energy aggregation option nearly two years ago.
Over the next several weeks, Cincinnati will work to negotiate a contact with FES, and residents will receive information about its services.
The change could potentially affect up to 50,000 residential and commercial electricity users in the city.
Residents who aren’t interested in participating in the city’s aggregation effort will be required to opt-out before the services are implemented. FES will notify all eligible customers.
City officials say FES will save the average household about $133 each year on electricity bills. The switch could become effective by June.