SOLON, Ohio - The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC), recently sent a form in the mail, asking 600,000 electric users if they'd like to stay with its energy aggregation program.
Consumers are being given the chance to opt out of the NOPEC program and seek out another source for their electric service.
According to NOPEC chairman Joseph Migliorini, it's an opt out letter NOPEC is required to send under Ohio law.
"We're required to send out to our customers, every three years, a letter indicating to them that they can stay in the NOPEC program if they would like, and do nothing, or they can mail in and opt out of our program and go with any electric supplier they would like," explained Migliorini.
NOPEC was created in 2000, and is currently in 10 northeast Ohio counties, representing 174 communities.
NOPEC uses the buying power of its 600,000 members to find lower rates on electricity, striking a deal with FirstEnergy Solutions in 2011.
"Since our origination we have saved northeast Ohio communities $175 million dollars as a result of negotiating on their behalf," said Migliorini. "We can provide the best electric rate more that 95 percent of the time."
Still NOPEC is required to give its subscribers a choice, and for some consumers it can be a little confusing.
If consumers don't opt out, they are automatically re-enrolled in the NOPEC program for another three years.
Consumers not in the program, who live in a NOPEC community, who are interested in shopping NOPEC electric rates, can do so with one phone call.
"They should always shop at NOPEC, they'll get a 6 percent savings on electricity, plus an additional 1 percent that we've negotiated for your community.," said NOPEC Marketing Director, Denise Dean.
"If you are with another provider and your unhappy with your service you can call NOPEC. You will have to pay a switch fee, a very nominal switch fee. It would depend on what your supplier charges."
NOPEC is now offering its "My Energy, My Way" program . It's a website packed with energy-saving advice, the latest energy-saving devices, coupons and more.
"The program is free. We just want consumers to have the latest energy-saving information," said Dean.
"We're a non-profit governmental organization, essentially all the voters in those communities, they're our bosses, they own our company. That's the beauty of NOPEC, different than other for profit companies."
Those interested in checking out NOPEC electric rates should call 1-800-292-9284, or visit the NOPEC website for more information.