AKRON, Ohio - Some 700,000 northeast Ohio electric users will soon be mailed an offer to lock in their electric rates for seven years, potentially insulating them against future price hikes.
It's a deal that was struck by the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, and Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp.
According to FirstEnergy Solutions Spokeswoman Diane Francis, the offer would allow customers to lock in the price per kilowatt hour at 6.75 cents, which is slightly higher than the current rate.
"If you look at what industry experts are forecasting, for even 3 years in the future, prices for generation are expected to go up," said Francis.
FirstEnergy believes consumers will realize substantial savings over the seven year offer, based on projected electric price increases forecasted by NOPEC for 2015.
NOPEC Chairman Joseph Migliorini believes most NOPEC members would benefit by locking in rates while they're sitting at a relatively low level.
"I think our economy is at the bottom, interest rates are at the bottom of where they can possibly be," said Migliorini. "We're not going to stay at this low pricing level, prices will be going up, the economy isn't going to stay this low.
100,000 customers have already received a similar offer by mail, with NOPEC mailing the seven year offer to the remaining customers within the next two weeks.
However not all FirstEnergy customers are convinced the offer is right for them, and are cautiously optimistic.
"I'd like to see the paperwork on what they're offering," said FirstEnergy customer Mary Ann Cook. "I need to checkout the details, and look at my bill, so I can get a better idea of where I am."
NOPEC members can sign-up for the offer my mail, or on-line. More information can be found on the FirstEnergy website .
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