Bill Judge Mayor City of Barberton (330) 848-6719
Mark Burns President Independent Energy Consultants (330) 995-2675
Kelly Biemer Constellation (410) 470-9700For Immediate Release:
THE CITY OF BARBERTON ANNOUNCES FIXED RATE FOR NATURAL GAS AGGREGATION PROGRAMCity of Barberton, Ohio (September 25, 2017) –
Barberton City officials would like to announce they have once again chosen Constellation (Constellation New Energy – Gas Division, LLC) as the supplier for the City’s Natural Gas Aggregation Program. The new program will run through the November 2019 bill cycle. A rate of $3.45 per Mcf has been set for gas consumed for the December 2017 through November 2019 bill cycles. Residents and small commercial customers can expect a letter from Constellation to arrive on or about September 25th. The letter will explain the rate, terms and conditions of the offer.
Mayor Bill Judge said, "We are pleased to have been able to strike this low rate for our residents and businesses. The fixed-rate will give them price protection and budget stability as we move into the winter months. And, as before, our program has no early termination fee.”
Mark Burns, President of Independent Energy Consultants, said, “Residents and businesses should carefully read their letter from Constellation.” Burns added, “There are two similar but distinct versions of the letters. Residents who are currently in the program or who receive their gas supply from Dominion Energy Ohio will receive an “opt-out” letter. If they wish to remain in, or be added to, the program, they should simply do nothing and they will automatically receive the new rate. A second similar version of the letter will be sent to residents who have already selected a supplier. These account holders would need to contact Constellation to receive the City’s natural gas rate.”
Any resident or small business that is not participating in the aggregation program and is currently served by another supplier may obtain the same low rate by calling Constellation at 1-844-467-4294, responding via mail as directed in the letter they receive, or by visiting a dedicated website www.constellation.com/oh-barberton. Residents served by other suppliers are encouraged to review the terms and conditions of their current supplier agreement before enrolling. New customers to the program must be in good standing and cannot be part of the utility’s Percentage of Income Payment Program (PIPP).
“Constellation is proud to offer residents and small businesses in Barberton the same price certainty we offer all customers,” said Ron Cardwell, vice president, government aggregation for Constellation. “As a national energy leader with deep roots in serving Ohio’s residential, commercial/industrial and governmental customers, we look forward to providing natural gas supply and a range of competitive products to the Barberton residential and small business customers.”
The City is pleased to have made this program possible but asks that you do not call the City offices. They are not equipped to handle a large volume of calls. Residents should contact Constellation toll free at 1-844-467-4294 if they have any questions.###
Natural Gas Governmental Aggregation Programs Frequently Asked Questions (Barberton - September 2017 Update)
Supplier: Constellation Energy Services 1-844-467-4294Who is the natural gas supplier for the City’s program?
Constellation (Constellation New Energy – Gas Division, LLC) continues to serve our community’s program. The current program will run through the November 2019 bill cycle. Constellation is certified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, and currently supplies customers and governmental aggregation programs across Ohio.What is my price for gas?
The new 24-month fixed rate for our program begins with November 2017 gas flow (December bill cycle) and is $3.45/Mcf through your November 2019 bill cycle. This rate compares very favorably to offers residents can find on their own and unlike many offers, our program has no penalty if you decide to leave early.What are Governmental Natural Gas Aggregation Programs?
Governmental Aggregations allow an entire community, groups of communities, or a county to join together to form one large buying group. Once voters authorize an aggregation, elected officials are then permitted to shop for natural gas on behalf of their residents and small businesses.are the benefits of Gas Aggregation
As a large buying group, residents participating in an Aggregation have more buying power. The aggregation is in a better position to negotiate favorable pricing and supply terms than what could ordinarily be achieved by any one individual resident.What are the different types of Aggregations?
In Ohio there are two types of Aggregations. A community may conduct an “Opt-Out” program or an “Opt-In” program. With Opt-Out programs, each eligible resident is automatically enrolled in the program unless they notify the supplier that they DO NOT wish to participate. With Opt-In programs, each resident must notify the supplier to actively enroll in the program. Opt-Out Aggregations are the most common types of aggregation programs because they result in higher participation that usually results in lower rates.What does a community need to do to become an Aggregator?
For starters, a community must obtain the approval of voters to form a natural gas aggregation program. Community leaders are then permitted to proceed through a series of steps to become certified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio as a Governmental Natural Gas Aggregator.What are the key steps in an Opt-Out Aggregation?
With the assistance of a PUCO certified consultant, a community seeks bids from Certified Retail Natural Gas Service Providers. A qualified bidder is selected to supply the aggregation with its gas for a set period of time. An “Opt-Out” Notice is sent to each eligible community resident prior to the start of the aggregation. Each resident has 21 days from the postmarked date on the notice to contact the supplier to withdraw or “Opt-Out” of the program. After the 21-day period, any resident not opting out will be submitted to the utility company for enrollment in the program. The utility company will send notice of the pending enrollment to each participating resident. Each resident will then have 7 days to rescind their enrollment in the program by contacting the utility company. After the 7-day rescission period, all participating customers are officially enrolled in the program. The new supplier will appear on your natural gas bill within one to two billing cycles after enrollment is verified by the utility.Whom do I call if I have a problem with my natural gas service?
Dominion Energy Ohio (DEO) will continue to deliver your natural gas and maintain the pipeline system that brings it to your home or business. You will continue to call DEO 1-877-542-2630 for emergency repairs or gas leaks. For non-emergencies such as billing questions, service turn on or turn off, call 1-800-362-7557.Will it cost me to join the program?
No. Enrollment in the program is free and you need not take any action. You only need to be eligible to participate. Please refer to the eligibility criteria shown below.Is everyone eligible for the program?
No, by law there are certain limitations on eligibility. All of the current participants in our City’s program will receive a notice of the new program rates, terms and conditions and continue to be eligible. Newly eligible residents or businesses must be located within the Barberton City limits. Furthermore, they must have received an Opt-Out Notice from Constellation. Here are the criteria for new member eligibility: 1. You must reside in the Dominion East Ohio service territory; 2. You must reside inside the Barberton city limits; 3. You must not have already chosen a natural gas supplier on your own; 4. You must not be a PIPP (percentage of income payment program) customer; 5. You must not be in arrears on your bill payment; and 6. You must not be a mercantile customer (natural gas commercial accounts using over 500 Mcf/year).Will I receive anything in the mail?
Yes. Constellation will mail several informational packets to the groups of customers described below. They will explain the program rate, terms and conditions and means of enrollment. 1. An Opt-Out Notice will be sent to current members and residents who have not selected a supplier on their own. By law these customers supplied through Dominion Energy Ohio’s Standard Choice Offer (SCO) are eligible to be automatically aggregated and added to the program. Customers would need to Opt-Out if they do not want to participate. 2. A similar letter will be sent to residents who are currently supplied by other marketers. If these customers would like to participate in the community’s program they will need to contact Constellation to enroll.When does the new rate start?
Customer switching takes place when meters are read. Therefore, your start date for the new rate will depend on when DEO reads your meter. Your service from Constellation is expected to begin with gas flowing in November 2017.How long is the program?
The City’s Governmental Aggregation Program can go on indefinitely. This program with Constellation is for 2 years and will end with your November 2019 billing period.What if I don’t want to participate?
While most residents will remain in, and benefit from, Governmental Aggregation Programs, the choice is up to you. If you do not want to participate you will have 21 days in which to return a reply card to Constellation or call them toll free at 1-844-467-4294. If you fail to do that, Constellation will continue to serve you or enroll you as a new customer. DEO will acknowledge the enrollment and send you a confirmation letter reminding you of the pending switch. That letter will mention that you can cancel the switch by contacting DEO within 7 days.Will I get two bills?
No. For your convenience, you will continue to receive only one bill from DEO. It will show DEO’s delivery charges and the supply charge amount owed Constellation. DEO continues to read your meter, issue monthly bills and responds to all service calls.Can I remain on budget billing?
Yes. If you are on budget billing you will remain on budget billing. (Note: DEO calculates your monthly budget amount each month by summing your total delivered gas cost on a rolling 12-month basis and dividing that total by average monthly usage in the same 12-month period.)Does our community benefit from the program?
Yes. Our eligible community-owned facilities can be included in the program.Can I exit this program without penalty?
Yes. A very attractive feature of our program is your ability to leave free of charge at any time for any reason. There are several “formal” opportunities to take yourself out of the program. First, when an offer is presented you will have 21-days to opt-out by returning a card to Constellation or making a toll-free phone call. If you do not Opt-Out, DEO will then send to new members a confirmation notice giving you 7 more days to cancel the switch. Furthermore, by law, you will be able to leave without penalty at least every two years. If you would like to leave the program at any time, simply notify Constellation at 1-844-467-4294.My friend lives in a nearby community and has a different rate from Constellation than mine. Why?
Natural gas prices are highly volatile. Market rates change often and quickly. Price differences between communities will vary based primarily on the contract term and the dates on which pricing was secured for the community.Can I enroll if I do not receive an Opt-Out Notice?
Yes. During the initial enrollment, any eligible resident that does not receive an Opt-Out Notice may contact Constellation directly at 1-844-467-4294 or online at www.Constellation.com/oh-barberton to enroll in the program.Can I enroll after the initial enrollment period?
Constellation will always try to accommodate residents should they wish to enroll after the initial enrollment period. However, Constellation reserves the right to decline late enrollments depending on market conditions. If enrollment remains open, you may enroll by calling Constellation directly at 1-844-467-4294.Can I enroll even if I currently purchase my gas from another supplier?
Yes, however your supplier may charge an early termination fee. All residents should check the terms and conditions of their current contract for more information.What happens if I’m part of the program and I move?
A resident moving within the same community can stay in the aggregation by providing Constellation with their new address. If a resident moves out of the community or does not provide Constellation their new address, their participation will end and no early termination fee will apply.This sounds complex. Is our community qualified to handle such a program?
We have retained Independent Energy Consultants, Inc., a PUCO certified broker and aggregator of electric and natural gas, without using any taxpayer money. They have designed, implemented, and administered similar successful gas and electric programs that impact over 100 communities across Ohio. We will have their assistance and that of Constellation Energy throughout the program.These FAQs help but I still have a question?
If you have additional questions please call Constellation at 1-844-467-4294. Customer Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For general information on natural gas deregulation in Ohio, you can visit the Web Sites of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (www.occ.ohio.gov), or the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (www.PUCO.ohio.gov). Please do not contact our offices. We are pleased to have made this program possible, but are not prepared to handle calls.