By Michelle Dupler
Franklin Township residents have two opportunities to learn how trustees hope to secure cheaper rates on electricity and natural gas.
Voters decide on Nov. 5 whether to authorize an aggregation program that allows township officials to negotiate discounted electricity and natural gas rates on their behalf.
Consultant Scott Belcastro of Trebel, LLC will present information about the aggregation program at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 at Central Baptist Church and Oct. 8 at North Franklin Elementary School.
Belcastro consulted for Prairie, Berlin and Madison townships to create their aggregate programs, which were approved by voters last May.
Prairie Township residents will see a 20 percent savings compared to what they paid AEP, according to Belcastro. The discount received was double what any individual was able to get on their own.
If voters approve the aggregation and authorize Belcastro to put together a program, his fees are paid by the utility supplier with no cost to the township, according to township officials.
Belcastro said Franklin Township would be part of a group consisted of seven townships, two in Franklin County and five in Delaware County, that are unifying as one group to strengthen their purchasing power.
Eligible resident are enrolled at the start of the program, but have the ability to opt-out if they want to negotiate their own utility service. There is no opt-out charge, and residents can get back into the buying group at a later date, according to Belcastro.
“That means there is no risk to residents. It means they can basically leave whenever they want,” he said. “They really don’t have a reason to leave because this program is better than anything the suppliers can offer to an individual.”
Residents who already entered agreements for their electricity or natural gas can choose to join the buying group when those contracts run out. The program will not affect low-income people who are on special programs, Belcastro said.
“The state runs its own program for those particular people, and they have already gotten the discount,” he said.
People who cannot attend the public meetings can find information at www.trebelllc.com. Residents should also have received information in the mail from the company.