To Inform, Provoke, Dispel, and Inspire—Ideas and actions for life in Worthington, Ohio
Ideas, Actions, People, and Commentary in the City of Worthington

Moving forward on aggregation: Council approves November ballot issue

Last night City Council voted to put community electrical aggregation on the ballot this November. This is a very significant development in our city’s sustainability efforts. There are immediate benefits: electrical aggregation will enable us to quickly reduce our carbon footprint (by the equivalent of nearly 4,000 automobiles or 20 MILLION pounds of burned coal per year). And there are longer term gains: raising awareness, sparking the imagination, and demonstrating that we can successfully take significant action at the local level will set the stage for further action in moving us toward a clean energy future.

But first things first: the city and our Energy Alliance partners will be reaching out to community groups, and the population as a whole, during the next four and a half months to inform and engage. If you know of any groups (small or large) that would like to host a presentation and discussion about this community sustainability issue, please contact me or the city directly requesting such a get-together (I can be reached at: davidwrobinsonblog@gmail.com).

Lastly, here is a draft of the city’s FAQ sheet on the topic:

What is the purpose of electric aggregation in Worthington?

To use community buying power to achieve two goals: 1) save households money on their electric bills, and 2) purchase renewable (green) energy.  The exact savings and amount of green energy will be determined after voter approval in the negotiated purchase agreement. There will always be a no-cost opt-out option for any resident.

Will electric aggregation cost me anything?

No. This is not a levy or a tax on any resident, business, or the City itself. The City of Worthington is simply asking residents if they would like to empower our City to pursue an electric aggregation program.

What does my YES vote mean?

A YES vote will enable the City of Worthington to combine our purchasing power through an electric aggregation program (certified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio). These programs are currently helping other communities to reduce residential electric rates while purchasing renewable-generated electricity.

Following voter approval, the city will seek competitive bids on behalf of residents and small businesses. City Council will assess the bids, and choose the most advantageous (based on cost and green energy content) before the program is implemented.

What does a NO vote mean?

A majority NO vote would mean that community electric aggregation would not proceed, and that residents will remain with their current electric supplier.

Will this save me money on my utility bill?

The city has made household savings a top priority for this program. Other communities in Ohio that aggregate consistently achieve lower electric bills for residents, and we fully anticipate achieving the same. Aggregation, in addition to savings, provides stability and  security against volatile energy pricing.

Will you buy renewable or green energy?

The city has made purchasing renewable energy a primary goal of this program and seek to maximize “green” content in accepted any bid. The renewable energy will be purchased by way of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Based on other communities experiences, we expect that bulk pricing will make green energy feasible and allow us to take a leadership role in reducing our city’s carbon footprint.

If the issue passes, can I choose to not participate in the program?

Yes. You can leave (opt-out) or rejoin the program at any time without any cost.

What is AEP’s role with an aggregation program?

AEP would still be the local utility supplier. Your monthly bill would still come from AEP and look the same as it currently does. They own the electric lines and will continue to provide service as they do now. Only the electric supplier or “generator” of your electricity would change.

David Robinson

David Robinson lives in Worthington with his wife, Lorraine, and their three children who attend Otterbein University and Colonial Hills Elementary. David is President and co-owner of Marcy Adhesives, Inc., a local manufacturing company. David has served on Worthington City Council since January, 2018, and is deeply committed to 1) advancing resident-centered policies, 2) supporting responsible development that enhances our unique historic character, 3) endorsing environmentally sustainable practices for both residents and city operations, 4) promoting the safety and well-being of all residents, and 5) preserving the family-friendly nature of our neighborhoods.