By: Rachel Cain – News Editor
Update: After Kevin Hallinan, co-chair of Dayton Regional Green Executive Committee, spoke with the City of Dayton sustainability coordinator June 12, he learned UD and other organizations that used more than a certain energy standard, could not apply for the plan.
The City of Dayton’s electric aggregation could save consumers money, improve energy efficiency and lead to job growth.
Electric power aggregation allows a municipality to shop for and offer group power rates for residents, according to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s website.
Dayton’s electric aggregation could save consumers $100-$200 per user, depending on how the consumer uses electricity, Kenneth Marcellus with the Dayton Department of Planning said at a city commission meeting in Dayton City Hall June 3.
The more consumers who participate in the aggregate, the lower the costs will be for each individual.
Matthew Currie from Advocates for Basic Legal Equality said at the city commission meeting that as Dayton’s city government develops the request for proposal (RFP) for the electric aggregation, the city council should keep in mind the effect the aggregate could have on the development of local jobs.
“There can be additional benefits than just a lower amount of money on a bill,” Currie said. “It can create investment and local job opportunities.”
He referred to the electric aggregation plan in Cleveland, which uses wind power. Thirty percent of the wind power is generated in Ohio, which helps create jobs, according to Midwestern Energy News.
“With an increase in energy efficiency, there could be an increase in jobs,” Brennan Howell, a representative from the Ohio Environmental Council, said at the city commission meeting.
Howell said that as well as lowering the cost, the RFP should include energy efficiency policies.
Many buildings lose 30-40 percent of the energy they consume, and improved energy efficiency, Hall said, could solve this.
Mayor Nan Whaley recommended that in the development of the RFP, the city council should take both price and sustainable energy into account.
“The state fell back [in supporting sustainability],” Whaley said. “We must take this to the local level.”
A piece of Ohio legislation signed into effect last June froze and sized down the state’s renewable energy and efficiency standards, according to Midwestern Energy News, however local communities across Ohio have increased sustainability and green energy efforts through electric aggregation.
“I think this green aggregation by cities tells the state, ‘We don’t need you. Cities can make sustainability viable for the long-term,’” Kevin Hallinan, mechanical and aerospace engineering professor and co-chair of Dayton Regional Green Executive Committee, said in an interview with Flyer News.
Dayton voters approved an electrical aggregation plan at the ballots in November 2013, according to WDTN.
Consumers may opt out of the aggregation if they choose. If they do opt out, they may stay with their current electric utility provider, Dayton Power and Light, or shop for an alternative Competitive Retail Electric Service Provider, according to the City of Dayton’s official website.
Although the city is currently searching for a provider for the electric aggregate, the aggregate could go into effect by the end of the year, according to WDTN.
Photo of city commissioners meeting by Amanda Dee.