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Many Ohioans did a double take when they received their electricity bills over the summer, as rates jumped as high as 30% June 1 for AEP customers throughout the state.
“Part of it has to do with upgrades as for every dollar you’re seeing in energy prices, you are going to witness $4 in infrastructure upgrades,” said Dale Arnold, director of energy policy with Ohio Farm Bureau. “I think farmers can appreciate that electricity is a commodity, just like corn, wheat, beans, using calls, puts, futures contracts, delivery points with pricing dictated by supply and demand over time.”
Thanks to Ohio Farm Bureau’s Energy Program, there could be some relief to the rate hike for Ohio Farm Bureau members. The program offers the ability to control energy costs: An easy first step is to share a current electric or natural gas bill with Energy Program partner Community Energy Advisors for a free analysis.
“Working with the Farm Bureau and working with this true member benefit, we are absolutely here to protect Ohio Farm Bureau members and it all starts with reviewing their energy bills,” said Kathy Elseser, energy procurement manager with Community Energy Advisors. “If they’re in a good spot, that’s the first thing that we’re going to tell them. We’re never going to move a member to harm them, but we will let them know what they’re paying and when that’s going to expire. Some of the worst spots we’ve seen members in is if they’re in an expired contract, they could be paying triple the amount of what they should be paying. When that contract expires, there’s no limit on what the supplier can charge. And because of the volatility in the market, we are seeing outrageous prices.”
The Farm Bureau program can serve members in the following utility regions: AEP Columbus Southern, AEP Ohio Power, AES, CenterPoint Energy, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Illuminating Company, Ohio Edison, and Toledo Edison.
Note: Farm Bureau members who are served by energy cooperatives are already receiving lowest prices and are not eligible for the program.
Arnold, who talks with Ohio Farm Bureau members about energy issues on a daily basis, said the amount of savings members are seeing can mean a big difference for their bottom line.
“Especially for farmers who are using more energy to dry crops down before storing them or for climate control systems in livestock agriculture, this is a very nice plus,” Arnold said.
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