By Amanda Amsel
A national consulting company who has had a contract with Prairie Township for the past year will be examining ways to reduce resident’s gas bills.
Trebel LLC principal owner Scott Belcastro presented the idea at a recent Prairie Township Trustee meeting.
“We have been hired by the township to be consultants on electric aggregation,” Belcastro said. “Our work has resulted in a 20 percent discount on electricity.”
According to Trebel LLC’s website, aggregation refers to many customers joining together to form a buying group. Municipal aggregation refers specifically to the situation where a municipality organizes the pooling of its citizens to become the buying group. The municipality then seeks out offers on behalf of its constituents to get better pricing, terms and services than would be available to an individual.
Once hired as a consultant by the trustees, Trebel LLC bid out the electric provider for the township and the provider with the lowest bid won, which was First Energy Solutions.
“Since we have done the electric aggregation we have received very positive feedback from the community,” said Tracy Hatmaker, administrator for the township. “Residents that were not included in the original aggregation have even called us and asked to be a part of this program.”
Trebel LLC wants to look at doing the same thing with gas.
“Columbia Gas gets their natural gas from an outside provider and then tacks on additional costs for maintenance and the reliability of the system,” Belcastro said. “Our hope is by doing what we did with electric we will reduce Prairie Township resident’s gas bills by 10 percent.”
However, in order for another aggregation to occur in the township, voters must approve it in the November election.
If approved by voters, all residents and businesses in the township will be enrolled in the program, however they can opt out of the program at anytime.
“The most important thing to understand is that this program provides citizens with other choices for the gas services,” Belcastro said. “If this program didn’t save money for residents it would not exist.”
For more information on the proposed gas aggregation of Prairie Township, visit www.trebelllc.com.