Earlier this month, residents of Columbus and Grove City, Ohio passed ballot issues 1 and 10 respectively, securing electricity aggregation for their cities.
Electricity aggregation is when a group of customers come together under one entity, in these cases the cities, and use their greater collective purchasing power to negotiate terms and benefits when buying electricity through one selected provider.
Both the Columbus and Grove City initiatives are “opt out” plans, meaning customers who qualify will be automatically enrolled in the program, but have the choice to leave if they do not wish to participate.
The goal of both the Columbus and Grove City issues is to use the collective bargaining power of the customers, who are represented by the cities, to negotiate for fair electricity prices and for electricity that comes from renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines. This latter initiative will greatly reduce carbon emissions, which will have long lasting health benefits for communities, in addition to reducing electricity prices as clean energy is cheaper to produce.
Mayor Ginther has gone on record saying the Columbus Division of Power has chosen to partner with AEP-Energy in this aggregation endeavor as their practices support the City’s goal of running on 100% renewable energy. A memorandum of understanding between AEP and the City of Columbus highlights that AEP plans to build or be the contractor for $1 billion in new wind and solar energy generation, which would feed into the grid the same amount of Columbus’ total electricity load.
In regards to transportation, electricity aggregation is great for electric vehicle users. Their electricity bills will either stay the same or get a little lower. The energy powering their vehicles will come from a cleaner electrical grid, reducing the small carbon footprint of electric vehicles even more.
“The passage of these two ballot issues signifies a monumental shift in Ohio’s energy landscape that will result in a growing clean energy economy for our state, alongside the exciting developments coming out of Lordstown and other emerging EV companies in Ohio,” Joe Flarida of Power Clean Future Ohio, says. “ Starting next year, every time an EV owner plugs in for a charge in Grove City or Columbus they will be using 100% clean energy and traveling through their communities using emissions free transportation. Clean energy and clean transportation are going to shape Ohio’s economic future and these ballot issues are an incredible opportunity that we expect more communities to pursue in 2021.”
This plan stands in line with past actions and commitments from AEP to support electric vehicles, as they have created dedicated programs designed to fund electric vehicle chargers across the state.