NOPEC Moving Half a Million Customers to their Default Energy Supplier
The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) is a nonprofit energy aggregator that tries to provide business and residential consumers with the most competitive energy rates. NOPEC temporarily moved nearly all of their 500,000 plus customers currently enrolled in the Standard Program Price option to their utility’s default choice.
With skyrocketing energy costs, NOPEC’s Standard Program Price was simply no longer the most competitive rate. Customers were transitioned out of NOPEC with no action required on their part. This change appeared on monthly bills beginning in September 2022 as the “Price to Compare”.
NOPEC Helps Customers Change Energy Providers
NOPEC’s objective is for customers to be opted back in by Spring of 2023. In a statement released in August 2022, Chuck Keiper, NOPEC’s Executive Director, explained, “As a consumer-focused non-profit, NOPEC is always advocating for what’s best for our communities and customers. When we looked at the price forecasts, it became increasingly apparent that the Price to Compare rate would be a better place for our customers to be through Winter 2023 to save significant money during these economically challenging times.”
In the past, customers had to call NOPEC to change electricity suppliers, but skyrocketing energy prices prompted NOPEC to make the switch on customers’ behalf by sending opt-out letters. Affected customers were transitioned without any interruption in service. Any fees that would typically be incurred when making a change did not apply. NOPEC stated that only those customers currently on the standard program price were impacted; those with a monthly variable price or fixed-term plan didn’t see any changes.
Energy Provider Responses to NOPEC Changes
Some competitive energy suppliers, including Dynegy, a supplier servicing a large portion of the affected Ohio markets, objected to the change and took action to stop the impending switch. Dynegy asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to stop NOPEC from transitioning customers. Dynegy said that such a dramatic influx of consumers would force the company to either generate or purchase more electricity on the wholesale market than they had planned.
Dynegy claimed that this would have a damaging ripple effect on the entire market, driving prices up in the long run. In their formal complaint, Dynegy asked PUCO to bar NOPEC from making any changes for 30 days, to compel NOPEC to send opt-out notices to affected customers, and to open a PUCO-led investigation into NOPEC’s unprecedented move.
Why did NOPEC Do This?
Many Ohio business owners asked why this was happening in the first place. The reason lies in Ohio’s energy deregulation.
While commercial and residential customers in Ohio cannot select their utility – the company that transports electricity to their business and services the delivery infrastructure – they may choose their supplier. In deregulated energy states, energy suppliers are companies or nonprofits that sell the electricity the utility transports. Many cities use an aggregator like NOPEC as their supplier because aggregators purchase energy in bulk, often at a reduced rate.
However, as energy prices skyrocketed, NOPEC’s bulk savings became nonexistent. This presented many Ohio businesses with a choice: They could either allow their service to be transitioned to a default supplier, or shop for the best rates and select a supplier themselves.
Find a New Supplier with Integrity Energy
The energy brokers at Integrity Energy are prepared to help those affected by this change find a new supplier and save money on electricity costs. Integrity Energy provides detailed information about all the different energy provider options in Northeast Ohio in a simple, easy-to-understand format. Contact us today and save!