NOPEC Updates in Northeast Ohio

9/15/2022 4 minutes
Nopec question
By: Integrity Energy Team

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. But, NOPEC recently announced that they will be temporarily moving 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 is simply no longer the most competitive rate and customers are being transitioned out of NOPEC with no action required on the part of the customer. This change will appear on monthly bills beginning in September as the “Price to Compare”.

NOPEC’s objective is for customers to be opted back in by spring of 2023. In a statement released last month, Chuck Keiper, NOPEC's Executive Director explains, "As a consumer-focused non-profit, NOPEC is always operating and 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 energy providers. But the skyrocketing energy prices in today’s market have prompted NOPEC to make the switch on customers’ behalf. Affected customers will be transitioned without any interruption in service. Any fees that would typically be incurred when making a change will not apply. NOPEC states that only those customers currently on the standard program price will be impacted; those with a monthly variable price or fixed term options won’t see any changes.

Some suppliers, including Dynegy, a supplier servicing a large portion of the affected Ohio markets, are objecting to the change and taking action to stop the impending switch. Dynegy has asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to stop NOPEC from transitioning customers. Dynegy states that such a dramatic influx of consumers would force the company to either generate or purchase more electricity on the wholesale market, much more than they had planned. Dynegy claims that this would have a damaging ripple effecton the entire market, driving prices up in the long run. In their formal complaint, Dynegy has 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.

Many Ohio business owners are asking why this is happening in the first place. 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. Suppliers are the company or nonprofit that sells the electricity the utility transports. Many cities use an aggregator, like NOPEC, as their supplier because NOPEC purchases energy in bulk and often at a reduced rate.

But as energy prices continue to skyrocket, NOPEC’s bulk savings have become nonexistent and now many Ohio businesses are faced with a choice - to allow their service to be transitioned to a default supplier or to shop for the best rates and select a supplier themselves. Fortunately, the energy experts at Integrity Energy are prepared to assist those affected by this change not only find a new supplier but to save money on electricity costs as well. 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!

Pro-Tip: Most often, businesses prefer fixed-rate plans. However, we can help you determine the best plan for your business. For instance, we know how to avoid nasty cancellation fees, rate hikes, minimum usage fees, and peak energy use times — basically being overcharged for the cost of doing business. Our energy experts consider all of these factors and more as we compare electricity rates for your business. Contact one of our experienced energy consultants today!

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