Herald Staff Writer
If you’re paying more than four cents per thousand cubic feet for natural gas, call your supplier and renegotiate your rate.
That’s the advice from Brenda Fargo, representing the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC). Fargo talked about the organization and its aggregation programs at the Norton City Council meeting July 1.
Fargo said NOPEC is a non-profit organization of local governments in Northeast Ohio working cooperatively to provide a competitive environment for energy cost savings for individuals and small businesses.
The largest non-profit energy supplier in Ohio, NOPEC purchases electricity and natural gas at bulk prices and passes the savings on to its more than 235 member communities. Bulk purchasing provides consumers stable energy costs over the life of the contract between the city and NOPEC.
Norton is considering joining the organization for natural gas.
Fargo said consumers should beware of phone calls and mailings from energy suppliers offering ridiculously low rates.
“Those rates are for six months,” Fargo said. “After that, they can charge anything they want for the life of your contract.
“So, here’s some homework for everyone. Go home and look at your gas bill, and if you’re paying more than [OPEC’s rate of] four cents per thousand cubic feet, call your supplier and renegotiate the price, or call the utility and ask for the Standard Choice Offer.”
The council will hold two more public hearings before deciding whether or not to enter into NOPEC and enter an agreement for natural gas with the organization.
In new business, council retroactively adopted an ordinance to authorize Administrative Officer Robert Fowler to contract with Kenmore Construction for emergency culvert construction on Wooster Road W.
Fowler told council members he has never asked them to approve something he already started or finished, but he did in this case because it was an emergency.
He said Kenmore Construction’s price for the job was the best and “they were the fastest.”
Kenmore began work on the bridge the morning before the meeting and the aim is to have the road open July 3, in time for the holiday weekend.
“It will not be complete, but it will be open,” Fowler said.
The project will cost approximately $97,053 and will be paid with funds from the $5.00 Permissive Tax on Ohio license plates.
Fowler said the city stands to receive its first $300,000 allocation from the new state gasoline tax in August.