Franklin Township residents to vote on aggregation

By Michelle Dupler
Staff Writer

Franklin Township voters will be asked on the May 6 ballot to reconsider an electricity and natural gas discount program that failed to garner approval in November.

Township trustees for a second time authorized ballot measures on the questions of electric and natural gas aggregation — a program that essentially allows township residents to negotiate utility discounts as a unified group instead of as individual ratepayers.

If approved, the ballot measure would authorize energy consultant Scott BelCastro of Trebel LLC to negotiate natural gas and electric rates on behalf of the township to get a discount from what they pay to Columbia Gas or AEP.

The amount of the discount won’t be settled until after voters give approval for BelCastro to represent them in negotiations, but the previous ballot measures anticipated about 10 percent cost savings compared to the rates charged by AEP and Columbia Gas.

Information on Trebel LLC’s website about the Franklin Township aggregation proposals says that residents are guaranteed a savings, and would never pay more than the rates charged by AEP or Columbia Gas.

Because BelCastro would be negotiating on behalf of the entire township, he told trustees at several public meetings that he can get better rates and conditions than individual users can get.

But even though BelCastro would be negotiating on behalf of the township, participation in the program is voluntary and residents can opt out if they decide they no longer want to participate — even if they vote yes on May 6.

BelCastro has said at public meetings that voting yes does not commit any individual resident to participating, but a yes vote allows people who want to participate in the discount program to do so.

There is no cost to the township government or taxpayers to participate in the program.
When township voters previously considered aggregation in November, the electric aggregation issue failed 53 to 47 percent. Natural gas aggregation failed 54 to 46 percent.

Previous articleRecreation director sought in Prairie Township
Next articleNo one fights alone


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.