A group of communities, including Sidney, are restarting their natural gas opt-out aggregation programs following the previous supplier’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing and immediate termination of the natural gas aggregation contracts.
Constellation NewEnergy – Gas Division, LLC (“Constellation”) was awarded the new contracts following a bidding process administered by the group’s consultant, Affordable Gas & Electric (AGE). The new opt-out aggregation contracts will begin this October and offers a fixed natural gas supply rate of $0.756/ccf for period of 24 months.
Residents previously participating in the opt-out natural gas aggregation programs under Volunteer Energy were dropped back to the utility’s Standard Choice Offer (SCO) this Spring. Under the SCO program, residents are assigned to an approved supplier at a market-based rate that varies monthly. Rates under the utility’s SCO has ranged from $0.68/ccf to $1.05/ccf in the months since the Volunteer Energy contracts were terminated.
“It was an unfortunate turn of events for residents in our communities with Volunteer Energy’s bankruptcy,” said Jordan Haarmann, VP of Procurement for AGE. “We are confident in Constellation’s ability to execute the programs and most importantly we wanted to make sure we had a fixed rate option available for residents ahead of this winter due to rising natural gas prices over 2021 and 2022.”
The West Central Ohio communities represented by AGE for their opt-out natural gas aggregations are Ansonia, Bellefontaine, Bradford, Covington, Fort Loramie, Greenville, Jeffersonville, Newberry Township (unincorporated areas), Russia, Sidney, and West Milton.
Eligible residents in these communities, which are those residents still served by the SCO offering currently, will receive opt-out notices beginning in early August. Residents who wish to participate in the new natural gas aggregation rates are advised to do nothing with these notices and they will automatically be enrolled on Constellation’s aggregation rate. There is no penalty to opt-out of the program if a resident wants to stay on the SCO rates or choose a supplier of their own.
“Residents will remain in complete control of their gas bills this winter,” said Haarmann. “The aggregation programs offer a stable rate through what is expected to be a volatile market this winter."