Select language: zh-CNesdefrja

Jump down to Electric Aggregation information


Natural Gas Aggregation Program

Overview
The City of Canton has established a low fixed rate of $3.247/Mcf for the first year of its two-year term with Constellation Energy Services "Constellation."  The natural gas rate is for members of the City's aggregation program during the months of April 2018 (May billing cycle) to March 2019 (April billing cycle). The program leverages the combined buying power of Canton homeowners to deliver lower cost natural gas.

Residents currently not participating in the program may call Constellation's toll free number 1-844-467-4303, to inquire about seeking enrollment. Fixed prices will provide predictability in cost of gas for individuals through the warmer months. Residents and businesses currently in the Constellation program do not need to do anything and will automatically receive this rate.

Fixed Gas Price - Current Period
(April 2018 through March 2019 [April 2019 bill cycle])
$3.247 per Mcf
Supplier: Constellation - 1-844-467-4303

For additional information please visit Constellation's website at http://www.constellation.com/oh-canton.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (PDF of FAQ)

Who is the natural gas supplier for the City's program?
Constellation Energy Services "Constellation" won a competitive bidding process and was selected to serve our community's program. The program will run through the April 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?
A low fixed rate of $3.247/Mcf will take effect for gas flow April 2018 through March 2019. 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, or groups of communities, 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.

What 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 community'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 community limits.  Furthermore, they must have received an Opt-Out Notice from Constellation. Here are the criteria for new member eligibility:

1. Your local utility company must be Dominion East Ohio;
2. You must not have chosen a supplier on your own;
3. You must be a resident or business owner located within the community limits;
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)

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 April 2018 (May 2018 bill cycle).

How long is the program?
The community's Governmental Aggregation Program can go on indefinitely. The offer from Constellation is for two years and will end with your April 2020 billing cycle.  The rate through your April 2019 billing cycle is $3.247/Mcf.

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 1-844-467-4303. If you fail to do that, Constellation will 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 will 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 1-844-467-4303.

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 1-844-467-4303 or online at www.Constellation.com/oh-canton 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.

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.

Is this related to our community's electric program?
The programs are similar but totally independent. The electric and gas programs have different suppliers and are on different time lines. You do not have to belong to one to participate in the other.

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 throughout the program.

These FAQs help but I still have a question?
If you have additional questions please call Constellation at 1-844-467-4303, 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.


Jump back up to Natural Gas Aggregation information


Electric Aggregation Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (PDF of FAQ)

(Canton – January 2018)
Supplier: AEP Energy
(877) 726-0214
Program Rate: 5.376 cents/kWh March 2018 – March 2021

 

What do I do if I received both an opt-in letter and an opt-out letter?
If you received a letter telling you to proactively join the program (an opt-in letter) and then a letter stating that you will be automatically included in the program (an opt-out letter), you should ignore the opt-in letter and follow the instructions in the opt-out letter.  The opt-in letter was likely sent to you in error.  If you received both letters and wish to remain in the program you do not need to take any action.

What is aggregation?
Under governmental aggregation, local officials bring citizens together to gain group buying power for the purchase of competitively priced electricity from a retail electric generation supplier certified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

How is the City able to choose a certified electric generation supplier on my behalf?
In November 2011, Canton’s residents voted to allow the City to contract for an electric generation supplier on their behalf.

Who will be our supplier for the electric program?
AEP Energy will be replacing FirstEnergy Solutions as the new program supplier.  AEP Energy won a competitive proposal process and was chosen as our program’s supplier through the March 2021 meter read dates. 

Whom do I call if I have a problem with my electric service?
The local utility, AEP Ohio (aka Ohio Power) company, will continue to deliver your electricity, read your meters, and issue your monthly bills. You will continue to call AEP Ohio at 800-672-2231 for emergency repairs, downed power lines, billing questions, etc.

Is our price for power fixed, or does it vary?
In this program, the price you will receive for the generation related charges is fixed at 5.376 cents/kWh for all the electricity you consume from March 2018 through March 2021.  Unlike our program rates, the local utility’s rates change quarterly and are unknown in advance.

What if I’m with another supplier and would like to join the City’s program?
If you have already chosen a supplier you will not receive an Opt-Out Notice and are not eligible to be automatically included.  You will need to contact AEP Energy seeking enrollment information.  You will need to be aware of any obligations in your current agreement; many include an early termination fee. AEP Energy will always try to accommodate residents should they wish to enroll after the initial enrollment period. However, AEP Energy reserves the right to decline late enrollments depending on market conditions.

What does “opt out” mean?
“Opt out” means that you can decide not to participate in the City’s electric Governmental Aggregation Program. By returning the opt-out form, which was included in the mailing, you will not be enrolled in the City’s program and you will not receive the program rate.

What happens if I do not send in the opt-out form?
If you do not return the opt-out form postmarked by the required date, you will be included in the City’s Governmental Aggregation Program with the fixed rate offer.

Will I get two bills?
No. You will continue to receive one bill from AEP Ohio that shows their distribution charges and the supply charge of AEP Energy.

Will I still receive a delivery charge from my local utility – Ohio Power?
Yes. Even though you have chosen a new supplier of electricity, Ohio Power continues to deliver the electricity to our homes and businesses. Distribution charges and a flat monthly customer charge apply whether you choose a supplier on your own or remain supplied by Ohio Power.

Can I stay on budget billing or have my payment automatically deducted from my checking account as I do now?
Yes, AEP will continue to offer those programs. If you are currently on budget billing AEP will continue to budget bill your distribution charges, but you will need to contact the supplier, AEP Energy, to request budget billing for your generation and transmission charges.  Otherwise these charges will be passed through based on your actual monthly usage. You can contact AEP Energy at 877-726-0214 to request budget billing.  

Can I exit this program without penalty?
You will be given an initial 21-day period to opt-out free of charge and then another 7-day period as soon as AEP Energy enrolls you as their customer. We are pleased to report that we have been able to eliminate the early termination fees for the program.  You may leave the program at any time without penalty.

What if I move?
There is no penalty from AEP Energy for terminating your agreement if you move.   If you move within the City and want to remain in the program, you’ll need to contact AEP Energy to re-enroll.

Who is eligible for the program?
1. Your local utility company must be AEP Ohio/ Ohio Power;
2. You must be a resident or business owner located within the City limits;

3. You must not be a PIPP (percentage of income payment program) customer;

4. You must not be in arrears on your bill payment; 

5. You must not be a mercantile customer (commercial accounts using over 700,000 kWh/year); and
6. You must not be a commercial customer with a peak demand > 199kW.

How will I sign up for the program?
There is no signup required. Residents, however, will have 21 days to opt-out of the program if they decide not to participate. An opt-out mailer will arrive from AEP Energy explaining the rates, terms and conditions and means for opting-out. If you would like to remain in the program, simply do nothing and you will be enrolled.

How did the City develop 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 electric and natural gas aggregation programs that impact over 100 communities across Ohio.  We will have their assistance and that of AEP Energy throughout the program. 
We researched the process thoroughly and are pleased with the offer they negotiated. Independent Energy Consultants’ efforts were instrumental in obtaining this offer for the City of Canton. 

Does the City benefit from the program?
Yes. The City owned accounts are eligible to receive the program rate.

Will small businesses, schools and churches be eligible?
Small commercial accounts using less than 700,000 kWh/year and with a peak demand < 199kW are eligible. Interested accounts using more than this amount, will need to call AEP Energy to obtain this rate.

Does this affect my distribution charges or the wires coming to my home?
No. Customer Choice programs in Ohio provide residents the ability to choose an electric supplier other than the local utility company. Maintenance of the wires coming to a resident’s home continues to be the responsibility of the homeowner.

Can I opt out over the phone?
Yes.  You can opt out over the phone but you must do so before the opt-out deadline, listed on your letter, or you will be automatically included in the program.

What is the toll-free number for questions?
For answers to your questions, please call AEP Energy at 877-726-0214, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m, Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where can I learn more about electric deregulation and assistance programs?
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has approved a number of additional assistance programs to help customers with their energy bills. You may be eligible to participate in other programs and this offer from AEP Energy. Eligibility and enrollment information can be found on the PUCO’s website at www.puco.ohio.gov.


Home > Natural Gas / Electric Aggregation