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Aggregation FAQ

Aggregation Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is aggregation?
  • Aggregation is a process by which communities combine their residents into a large buying group. These buying groups result in increased "buying power" and stable prices for members. Aggregation is a simple process that is very popular in Ohio and other states.

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  • What is the cost to my community to start an aggregation program?
  • Constellation does not charge your community any fees for implementing an aggregation program.

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  • Will my residents notice a difference in service?
  • No, the only difference in the energy your residents receive from Constellation is in more stable prices. Your local utility continues to deliver energy to your residents' homes and businesses. Electricity and natural gas flow the same as they do now.

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  • Where does the natural gas or electricity come from?
  • Using forecasting and hedging methods, Constellation procures much of the energy supplied on the open market to find the best price for your aggregation group.

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  • Why is Opt-out aggregation better than Opt-in aggregation?
  • Opt-out is the easiest way for citizens to shop since your residents need to do nothing to participate in the program. Opt-out aggregation programs usually provide better prices than Opt-in program due to a larger aggregation group and corresponding higher energy demand.

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  • What is an Opt-out period? What does it mean?
  • When a community has decided to take part in an Opt-out aggregation program, they must provide all residents the option of choosing to NOT participate in the program, or "Opt-out" of the program. Before the aggregation program begins, all residents will receive an Opt-out notice in the mail. Residents are given a date by which they must return the Opt-out notice or call a toll-free number to request to be opted-out of the program.

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  • How Does Aggregation Benefit a Resident?
  • Aggregation combines the retail natural gas and electric loads of customers in a community. By combining the loads of its residents, the community can be more effective in doing research and negotiating rates than an individual customer might be. This combined buying power typically provides lower, more stable rates and improved service from suppliers.

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  • Why Is This Important To A Community?
  • State legislators have made the decision to put the power in the hands of municipal leaders to help residents with their energy costs by forming aggregation groups. This was accomplished through House Bill 9 (for natural gas) and Senate Bill 3 (for electricity). A community can now provide another choice to their residents to buy their natural gas or electricity in bulk. Additionally, most residents don't think about energy costs until it's too late (they normally aren't concerned about their gas or electric bills until they are already receiving their high winter heating bills and high summer cooling bills). A community can purchase gas and electricity at ideal times to provide better rates, price protection and pricing stability for their residents.

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  • How Does an Opt-Out Aggregation Program Work?
  • In order for a community to create an Aggregation Program, a majority of the residents have to pass a ballot issue authorizing the community to negotiate the rates on their behalf. After the ballot issue, the community negotiates rates and chooses a supplier.

    All eligible residents are automatically included in the Program unless they choose to Opt-Out. Prior to enrollment, all eligible residents are mailed notices detailing the Program and are offered 21 days to remain in the Program or to not participate by Opting-Out.

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  • Who is Eligible?
  • Natural gas or electric customers residing within the community receiving energy from the local utility (e.g. Columbia Gas, Dominion, Duke Energy) are eligible. Residents that are served by another supplier, PIPP customers, customers in arrearage or are both a distribution service and mercantile customer are not eligible.

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  • How Do I Join?
  • In order to make it easier for residents to join and to create greater bargaining power, the community choses an Opt-Out Aggregation Program. This means all eligible residents are automatically included in the Program unless they choose not to participate by opting-out. All customers are mailed an Opt-Out Notice, which includes a letter explaining the Program, terms and conditions, and offers a 21-day Opt-Out Period.

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  • What If I Do Not Want to Participate?
  • Every resident will receive an opt-out notice and 21 days to opt-out of the program. The notice will provide the rates for the program. If you do nothing, you will automatically receive the new rate. A resident may choose to opt-out, or not participate, by either returning an enclosed opt-out card, calling a toll-free telephone number, or going on-line to the community's dedicated web site to opt out.

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  • What if I Already Have a Supplier?
  • By law, only residents that are not under contract with a supplier and are current on their local utility energy bills may be sent an opt-out card. Residents who have already made a choice will not be sent an opt-out notice. They may, however, contact the supplier separately to sign into the Program if they like the rate. Those residents should review their current supplier's contract beforehand though to avoid any early termination penalties.

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  • Who Do I Call To Report Problems With My Energy Service?
  • To report service problems, gas leaks, electrical outages, billing problems, meter readings, estimated readings, and budget payment plan amounts, you will still call your local utility. If you have questions regarding the Aggregation Program or the supplier rate, you should call the supplier.

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  • Will I Keep My Budget Billing?
  • Budget Billing is still available.

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  • Who Do I Pay?
  • You will receive a single consolidated bill from your local utility. You will continue to only pay your local utility, which will then remit payments to the supplier.

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