The City of Cleveland’s climate-friendly aggregation program offers 60,000 electricity customers a real win-win: lower rates and renewable power.
When I read the recent letter offering me reduced electric rates, I thought it might be a scam. It sounded too good to be true: I could buy my power for 21% less than market rate and all of it would come from clean, renewable sources. There was nothing I had to do. I was going to be enrolled in the program automatically.
But it’s no scam. It’s a new energy aggregation program being offered to residents and small and medium businesses in Cleveland who are customers of Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. By pooling purchasing power, the city was able to attract bids for lower rates and the option for green power.
The winning bid from First Energy Solutions will provide about 60,000 customers the opportunity to source hydropower from Pennsylvania and wind power from Ohio and elsewhere. Customers can also choose conventional power, mostly coal and nuclear, at 24% off market rate. Or they can opt-out of the aggregation program altogether and pay more. In any case, the Illuminating Co. will continue to deliver the power and service all accounts.
The aggregation program is one of the first major actions of the city’s Climate Action Plan. Assuming that most customers take the renewable energy, the program will reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 3%.
“That’s huge,” says Jenita McGowan, the city’s Chief of Sustainability.
The program follows a similar deal with First Energy Solutions made by the City of Cincinnati last year.