Dayton residents and small businesses could save money on electricity costs in coming years, if voters approve a November ballot measure allowing the city to group customers into a single buying block.
Dayton City Commission is expected to vote Wednesday night to approve putting the “electricity aggregation” measure on the Nov. 5 ballot. Voters would then decide whether to move forward.
“Instead of you as a resident buying your energy (individually) from one of the power companies, we would combine the buying power of all the citizens and small businesses together,” Dayton City Manager Tim Riordan said. “Then we’d negotiate an agreement with a power generator to get you a better price.”
City officials cautioned that the process is slow. If voters approve aggregation in November, the city would have to hold public hearings, then go out to bid to find the lowest price. Riordan said savings wouldn’t be immediate, but they could be significant.
“The ordinary residential or small business customer (in Dayton) would probably save somewhere between $100 and $200 per year,” he said.
Residents could choose to opt out of the program, and those who have already established a set-term contract with a power generator would be excluded.
Donna Winchester, a consultant working with the city, had one caution for residents who want to participate in the aggregation. She said any residents who have an existing contract with a power generation company should check to see if their deal has cancellation fees before ending the contract.
Winchester said more than 200 Ohio cities and townships, including several in Dayton’s south suburbs, are already aggregating residents to buy electricity.