Pat Mace, like thousands of other people in the city of Cincinnati, has just received a letter from the city offering a plan to lower her electric rate.
But the first thing she wondered was: What's the catch?
"With anything these days, scams are rampant out there, and that's why I questioned it," Mace said.
How Much You Might Save
The good news is that it's not a scam, and there's really not a catch,
Cincinnati is partnering with Dynegy Energy out of Texas to offer city residents a deal which is lower than Duke's current rates, by about 10 percent. The city estimates the average homeowner could save $100 a year by switching, and more next year.
"Starting in May of this year, the rate will go down by a kilowatt, and will go down again each year in May for the next 3 years," Mace said.
Many Communities Reaching Deals
This is known as electric aggregation. It should not be confused with "aggravation," even though it can be a bit aggravating.
It's where a community reaches a deal with an electric supplier, to guarantee its residents a lower rate.
Colerain, Delhi, Green, Sycamore and Springfield townships, along with dozens of small communities in the state of Ohio, have all entered into similar aggregation deals, saving their residents a few dollars a month.
You still get one bill, from Duke Energy, each month, and Duke continues to deliver the energy. So the savings are just on one half of your bill as the delivery fees remain the same.
Who Should Opt Out
But if you have recently switched to an even cheaper provider, or just want to stick with Duke's standard rate, you can opt out by April 14.
But Mace figures she'll go with this new option. "I think I may go with it and see what happens. It seems like a pretty good deal," she said.
Learn more about the Cincinnati-Dynegy deal by clicking here.
One caution though: Check to see if you have already signed up with an alternate energy supplier. Some may hit you with a $100 termination fee if you switch to Dynegy before your contract comes up. So in that case, you probably should opt out.
Also, if you live in another area, your Dynegy offer may not be as good as the deal Cincinnati reached. So be sure to check the Ohio PUCO's Apples to Apples page to see if your offer will really save you money.
That way, you don't waste your money.
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