Marble Cliff residents will be voting in November on whether to establish an opt-out electric service aggregation program in the village.
The village council June 21 voted 6-0 to place a measure on the Nov. 8 ballot. Councilwoman Kendy Troiano did not attend the meeting.
If the ballot measure is approved, the village would be authorized to establish an aggregation program to provide electric service for residents and small businesses using renewable, clean energy, Mayor Matt Cincione said.
“This would be an opt-out program,” he said. “You wouldn’t have to participate in the aggregation program, but you would have to register to opt out.
“We just think this is an appropriate question to bring to our residents. Is this something they want to see in our community? It fits in with some of the other measures we’ve already taken, adding solar panels to the village hall and setting up the electric-vehicle charging stations in front of the hall.”
Grandview Heights also is interested in placing an electric aggregation measure on the ballot, but the city plans to wait, council President Emily Keeler said.
City Council on June 21 voted to table an electric aggregation ballot resolution to the Nov. 21 meeting.
“We kind of have a full plate right now,” with the city planning to place a bond issue on the Nov. 8 ballot to help fund a new municipal complex to be built at the southeast corner of Grandview Avenue and Goodale Boulevard, Keeler said.
“We want to concentrate on that measure and make sure we have the chance to do our due diligence in getting the all the information out to our residents and consider all of our options before moving ahead with an electric aggregation ballot measure.”
The expectation is that the city would place an electric aggregation measure on the May 2, 2023, ballot, Keeler said.
“It’s definitely something we are interested in exploring and to give our community a chance to consider,” she said.
As with the Marble Cliff ballot measure, Grandview would be seeking voter approval of an opt-out aggregation program, Keeler said.
The program would be designed for electric customers who use less than 700,000 kWh per year, she said.
The city will be creating an ad hoc committee to explore the electric renewable aggregation topic and the feasibility of creating a program for residents and the community, Keeler said.
Director of Operations Bob Dvoraczky will serve as the committee’s chairman and other members will include council members Melanie Houston and Anthony Panzera, Director of Finance Megan Miller as well as a community member and “a content expert,” she said.
“We’re interested in hearing from anyone who would be interested in serving on the committee,” Keeler said.
The committee is expected to conclude its work by mid-February, she said.
The benefits of an electric aggregation program are both environmental and economical, said Matt Jordan, a volunteer with Sustainable Grandview.
Sustainable Grandview is a local organization with a goal of “creating a cleaner, healthier and more resilient community,” he said.
“You’re seeing more and more communities all across Ohio putting electric aggregation programs into action,” Jordan said.
“It’s good for the environment because you are pursuing clean, renewable sources of energy, but it’s also good for customers because it can help save them money.”
The cost savings comes can come from having several residents and small businesses purchasing electricity through an aggregation program, Jordan said.
“It’s creating a buying pool and that can help drive down costs,” he said.
Jordan has been advocating for both the village and city to consider seeking voter approval of electric aggregation programs.
“I think this is a community that would be open to an electric aggregation concept,” he said. “The good thing about an opt-out program is that you’re not forced to be part of it if you don’t want to be. It’s still your choice.”