Delaware residents have spoken regarding the electricity aggregation program proposed by the city this summer. According to the Delaware County Board of Election’s unofficial election results, 56% of the 13,895 total votes cast during Tuesday’s general election were in favor of the program.
Delaware City Council voted to approve an ordinance on Aug. 11 containing the ballot language that was then submitted to the Delaware County Board of Elections for inclusion on the ballot.
The ballot language asked residents, “Shall the City of Delaware have the authority to aggregate the retail electric loads located in the City of Delaware and, for that purpose, enter into service agreements to facilitate for those loads the sale and purchase of electricity, such aggregation to occur automatically except where any person elects to opt out?”
With the authorization from residents, the city is now allowed to form a buying group on behalf of its citizens “with the intent that a larger buying group may acquire better pricing and more favorable terms and conditions for the citizens than if the citizens would shop on their own,” according to the city.
Much of the discussion leading to council’s approval of the ballot language in August centered on how it would emphasize the push for renewable energy sources. Council was ultimately unable to identify the proper language regarding renewable energy but still proceeded with the ballot measure with the primary goal of saving residents money on their utility bills.
However, the city has remained committed to pursuing renewable energy sources if it also achieves the goal of saving money.
“Aggregation allows us not only to bargain for a lower rate but also demand a better product,” the city stated on its website. “Delaware could contract with a utility that can supply renewable energy if it lowers the cost of service for customers.”
Residents who wish not to partake in the program will have the opportunity to opt out of the program without penalty. Every resident will receive a letter asking whether or not they wish to be included in the program, and should they decline the option, they will be free to pursue their own deals.
For more information on what was approved on Tuesday, visit the city’s FAQ page on the program at www.delawareohio.net/government/city-hall/aggregation.