Gas rates a ballot issue

Pickerington City Council wants to negotiate cheaper natural gas rates for its residents, but it cannot do so without the passage of Issue 13.

Issue 13 allows the city to create a government energy aggregation.

In other words – instead of every household in Pickerington being a separate gas customer, the entire city would form one giant customer.

A giant gas customer is more likely to receive a better rate.

If Issue 13 passes, council will hold public hearings to explain the program, then gas companies would bid on becoming Pickerington’s provider.

Once a contract has been agreed upon, everyone in Pickerington would automatically become customers of the new gas company unless they choose to opt-out and remain with Columbia Gas.

Every two years, or in the event of a significant change in pricing, residents would again be given the opportunity to opt-out.

On his blog at (pickerington.wordpress.com), Mayor Mitch O’Brien supports the issue.

"I feel that offering this option to you is important," O’Brien wrote.  "Any opportunity we have, as elected officials, to offer you the choice of lower costs with no degradation in service is something we should do. There is no risk of affecting anyone’s freedom of choice in this proposal. You will have ample time and opportunity to review all documentation throughout the process and make your own choices."

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