Re-posted here on November 28, 2017 for City of Athens residents concerned with their gas bill.
Dear Athens Community Members,
I want to take a few minutes to remind the community about some of the details of the Opt-Out Natural Gas Aggregation program that will become active for the City of Athens this winter (2017-2018).
Many natural gas customers are busy or unaware of their options to purchase natural gas from a retail energy supplier. These customers sometimes pay more for their gas supply under the default supply rate charged by the utility company. This default utility rate is called the Standard Choice Offer (SCO).
Opt-Out Natural Gas Aggregation is valuable because it selects a competitively priced retail gas product to replace the default utility rate (SCO) for the entire community. It is important to note that customers enrolled in a retail gas contract will continue to pay the existing rate in their contract. The default aggregation price will only be paid by customers who are not enrolled with a retail supplier during each billing period and who would otherwise be paying the SCO rate.
Some other important points to remember are that customers can still enroll in any retail contract at any time by simply contacting their preferred retail supplier and enrolling in their preferred contract. There is no need to opt-out of the aggregation program to enroll in a retail contract. And if customers forget to re-enroll with a supplier after their contract expires, they will still receive competitively priced natural gas through the aggregation program during the billing period(s) when they are not enrolled.
If some customers would prefer to pay the default utility rate (SCO) during periods when they are not enrolled with a retail supplier, those customers can opt-out of the natural gas aggregation program any time without any fees or hassles. Customers can opt-out by having their Columbia Gas of Ohio account number available and calling 1-855-667-3201. If customers change their mind later on, they can also return without any fees or hassles by calling the same number.
I encourage community members to compare natural gas retail rates at www.energychoice.ohio.gov, and to visit the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) at www.sopecinfo.org to learn more about energy utility programs and projects in our region.
If community members have any questions or concerns, they can call or email me anytime.
SOPEC Executive Director