NOPEC responds to critique, avows commitment to clean energy and serving member communities
An electricity meter. Getty Images.
The following commentary was submitted by NOPEC in response to this May 22 commentary: “Electricity rate hikes show why community aggregation programs must make responsible reforms.”
We at the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) take our mission to serve our member communities and their residents and small businesses VERY seriously. We support our members by operationalizing our mission to aggregate, educate and advocate on behalf of our members each and every day. To imply that we do not embrace community choice aggregation (CCA) is simply false narrative and completely contrary to our business model and status as the largest governmental energy aggregator in the state of Ohio. We got here by serving the diverse interests of our member communities, advocating for them and providing meaningful resources to support their efforts to reduce energy costs, mitigate volatility and improve energy efficiency within their communities.
We do this in very tangible and impactful ways providing affordable energy options to consumers; through energy efficiency grants which to-date total nearly $50 million in awards; offering low-interest energy improvement loan programs; and financing urban tree planting, LED lighting grants, and Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure grants.
Further, we vigorously support the transition to a clean energy economy and are leading the way in the development of renewable energy options not just through our advocacy at the statehouse, but also by supporting Ohio-based renewable energy generation development. We currently offer the opportunity for member communities to participate in our Green Community Choice program that allows new and existing NOPEC member communities to provide a default 100% renewable electric aggregation product. Additionally, residents and small businesses in NOPEC member communities have the option to individually choose competitively-priced 100% renewable energy content options.
Underscoring NOPEC’s commitment to living our mission and operating in the best interests of our communities and customers, as market volatility increased in 2022, we took unprecedented measures to mitigate the impact on our customers. In accordance with Ohio law and PUCO rules, we voluntarily transitioned our 550,000 electric customers back to the utility default service to financially benefit our customers who ended up paying substantially less for their electric supply through May of this year.
As a member-driven council of governments that has been operating for more than 20 years, we are proud of our efforts to engage our membership, be transparent about our operations and govern in an ethical and open manner. We provide audited financial statements, an annual report and an environmental social and governance (ESG) report that describes in detail who we are, and what we have done in support of our communities, residential and small business customers.
We continue to take steps to improve our sustainability and that of our member communities by further enhancing our programs, investing in renewable energy development in Ohio and strengthening our efforts to manage the energy market volatility to protect our communities and customers from high energy prices.
As evidenced by the feedback we have received from the thousands of citizens and community officials with whom we have spoken at the nearly 100 public meetings we have facilitated in the past several months, people continue to trust that NOPEC is working in their best interest and the Board and staff at NOPEC is honored to be working on their behalf.
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