Since 2009, Sycamore Township has provided a natural gas aggregation program to eligible residents and small businesses as a competitive fixed price alternative to Duke Energy Ohio’s variable Gas Cost Recovery (GCR) rate. The current aggregation expires in June 2022.
The Township has worked closely with energy consultant Energy Alliances to evaluate options for renewing the program beyond June 2022. Due to a significant increase in energy prices since summer 2021 and particularly this past winter, Energy Alliances has recommended to the Board of Trustees not to lock into any prices at this time and to have all accounts on the program go back to Duke’s GCR rate starting with their July 2022 bill.
Why did Energy Alliances make this recommendation?
- A combination of a cold winter and geopolitical tensions in Europe have driven natural gas prices to their highest levels in several years.
- Locking in a price now to keep the program going through the summer of 2022 would force participants to lock into historically high prices for 2022 and beyond.
- Sending accounts back to Duke’s default rates for the summer gives Energy Alliances and community leaders time to evaluate the market to see if prices come down before next winter.
- The average resident consumes only 7% of their annual natural gas usage during the months of July – October. Finding a favorable rate for the Winter of 2023 is most important.
What do accounts on the program need to do and what should they expect?
- Nothing must be done. The change will occur automatically.
- Constellation NewEnergy, the supplier of the aggregation program, will start sending accounts back to Duke in mid-May, effective for June. This process will continue until all accounts are returned to Duke by mid-June.
- Accounts will receive a letter from Duke notifying them of the change after Duke receives the drop notification from Constellation NewEnergy.
Will the aggregation program return in the future?
- Energy Alliances will continue to monitor the market and work closely with the community to lock in a price before Winter 2023.
- A tentative timeline is for opt-out letters to be mailed to eligible accounts in August 2022.
If you have any questions regarding the community’s aggregation program, you can reach out to Energy Alliances in several ways:
Chat with them on their website: https://energyalliances.com/