By Amanda Amsel
The Prairie Township trustees will be hosting two public meetings in an effort to educate people on the new gas aggregation township voters recently approved.
The meetings will take place at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 6 at the township meeting room, 23 Maple Drive.
“These meetings are so important because they will explain how the program will work and how the savings are negotiated,” said Tracy Hatmaker, township trustee. “The meetings will also educate people how they can opt out if they don’t want to join the program and explain that if they are currently under a different contract they cannot join the program.”
Hatmaker said in the past few weeks he has gotten several calls by confused residents about the new program. He said that several door to door sales people have been visiting residents since the aggregation passed, adding confusion to an already complex issue.
At a recent trustees meeting, aggregation specialist Scott Belcastro of Trebel LLC warned residents about signing up for programs from door to door sales people.
“Stop giving into high press sales tactics,” he said. “These guys may give you a good deal for a month or two, but then they will change your rates. It really is better to let the township do all the work and sit back and enjoy the benefits.”
The township has worked with Belcastro for over a year on the electric aggregation of the township and has seen a 20 percent discount in electricity for residents. They now hope he will do the same with gas.
At the last board meeting, the trustees unanimously authorizes Belcastro to look into entering an agreement with IGS Energy. However, Belcastro warned that even as they look into entering this agreement residents should not assume they will get the same savings as they did on electricity.
“It is hard to say how much residents will save, it is like the stock market, the numbers are always changing,” he said. “If we do not find a better deal they are not obligated to move forward with the program. If we are not savings resident’s money there is no point to entering into an agreement with a provider.”
Once the township picks a provider they must stay with them for 12 to 24 months before they can find a new one. According to Belcastro that is why they are being very picky when they chose who to go with.
“We are trying to provide township residents with an opportunity to save money so they won’t be tempted to opt out,” Hatmaker said. “We want people to join our program so that everyone gets the best deal.”
Hatmaker warns that if you are tempted to sign up with a different provider than the township to please do your homework because once you sign that deal you are on the hook.
“With our program any individual can opt out at any time, however I don’t believe some of these other programs work that way,” he said. “Do some research and don’t just fall for misleading claims that can end up costing you a fortune.”
For more information on gas aggregation public meeting for Prairie Township, visit www.trebelllc.com.