Mercantile Program (Opt-In Electric Aggregation)
1. Who can participate in the Opt-In Electric Aggregation program?
The SOPEC Opt-In Electric Aggregation (Mercantile) program was established to provide a savings option for certain electric utility customers who are disqualified under Ohio law from participating in the Opt-Out Electric Aggregation program. The SOPEC Opt-In program was created to allow large electric customers with over 700,000 kWh of consumption per year, and customers with more than one account or meter (both are mercantile customers), to achieve the same savings that households and small businesses enjoy through normal opt-out electric aggregation.
2. How does the Opt-In Electric Aggregation program work?
The SOPEC Opt-In Electric Aggregation program bundles hundreds of already large accounts from different customers together to leverage an even larger combined volume that can achieve a more competitive price than these customers could achieve on their own. Once those accounts are bundled together, SOPEC submits the entire bundle into a competitive procurement auction. In the competitive procurement auction, numerous retail suppliers submit visible price bids that can be seen by their competitors. The economic pressure of the auction causes each retail supplier to bid lower and lower rates than their competitors. When the auction time ends, SOPEC returns the list of the lowest bidders, along with their credit ratings and other details, to the group of customers for their consideration and potential selection.
3. What type of savings does the Opt-In Electric Aggregation program achieve?
SOPEC currently features 223 accounts participating in the SOPEC Opt-In Electric Aggregation program. Those 223 accounts are achieving a total annual savings of $196,000 per year, which is an average of $880 in annual savings for each account. Some accounts save much more than average. One customer benefited from over $7,000 per year in annual savings on just one of their accounts. Another customer achieved a price through the SOPEC Opt-In Electric Aggregation program that was 45% beneath the retail rate in their recently expired contract.
4. Does Participation come with a Long Term Commitment?
Yes. While the SOPEC Opt-In Electric Aggregation program uses competitive auctions to achieve the lowest prices for Southeast Ohio customers, it does come with a commitment. Participating in the Opt-In Electric Aggregation program requires customers to sign a retail supplier agreement with a specified term and end date (SOPEC usually recommends less than two years). Customers wishing to end their contract could face an early termination fee (ETF). It is important to understand that this is entirely different from the Opt-Out Electric Aggregation program, which features no commitment and no early termination fees.
5. Who should consider participating?
The SOPEC Opt-In Electric Aggregation program is open to any electric utility customer with more than 700,000 kWh in consumption each year, or more than one account or meter no matter how much is consumed. Some examples include:
- School Districts
- Local Governments
- Manufacturing Plants
It is important to note that participation in the program can only occur after customers have completed or terminated any existing retail contracts. For customers interested in future participation, SOPEC can add your accounts into a queue for future annual procurement auctions.
Interested in Participating in the SOPEC Opt-In Electric Aggregation Program?
All you have to do to is visit our Contact Us page and send us a message with your organization’s name and contact information for the staff member of your organization who manages your electric utility billing.