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The original item was published from 11/1/2016 2:28:32 PM to 11/3/2016 4:00:17 PM.

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Posted on: November 1, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Electric Service from NOPEC

Recently, First Energy Solutions notified the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) that they were terminating the contract to provide electric service to NOPEC customers effective January 2017. The City of Beachwood is a NOPEC “customer”. Many of our residents and businesses receive their electric service through NOPEC. If you are NOPEC customer, it is important to note that this termination will NOT disrupt your electric service in any way.

NOPEC has provided a document with “Frequently Asked Questions” that addresses this situation. Continue reading for FAQ's. If you wish to speak directly with NOPEC, please call 855-639-8159.

1. What does this mean for me, the customer? Am I going to have electricity?

Yes. Your electricity will continue to flow. Throughout the process of finding a new supplier, there will be no disruption of service for NOPEC customers.

2. So, my electricity will definitely not be shut off?

No, your electricity will not be shut off. There will be no disruption of service for our NOPEC customers because of the changing of suppliers.

3. What should I, the customer, be doing?

You should do nothing. Your discounts through NOPEC’s current supplier will continue until January. NOPEC plans to have a sound and financially strong supplier under contract shortly, ready to deliver electricity to NOPEC customers at a favorable rate.

4. What happened? How can FirstEnergy Solutions so suddenly end this contract?

FirstEnergy Solutions informed NOPEC on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, that it was terminating its contract with NOPEC three years early, effective January 2017. The unexpected termination announcement came after FirstEnergy Solutions made a surprising demand for unilateral contract concessions from NOPEC and amid numerous news reports about the severe financial challenges FirstEnergy Solutions and its parent corporation, FirstEnergy Corp., are facing.

5. What is NOPEC doing in response to this early termination?

NOPEC is currently in discussions with new suppliers to continue to provide electricity at a discounted rate for its customers. NOPEC over the past 15 years has saved customers about $250 million and added many other values that benefit our communities and customers.

6. What did the contract with FirstEnergy Solutions provide for me, and how will it change?

On Jan. 1, 2010, FirstEnergy Solutions entered into a nine-year contract with NOPEC to supply electricity to NOPEC customers. As a result of that deal, NOPEC residential customers saved 6 percent and commercial customers saved 4 percent on the generation portion of their electric bills, compared with what they would have been paying to a utility. In addition, NOPEC has funded an additional 1 percent discount that shows up on your electric bill as “NOPEC Customer Credit.”

NOPEC is focused on getting our customers an excellent, financially strong electricity supplier and a deal that will allow them to continue to experience the many benefits NOPEC has become known for delivering to our customers.

7. Why did FirstEnergy Solutions terminate so quickly?

The FES decision to terminate the contract three years early came after NOPEC rejected a number of unilateral demands for contract concessions. There also have been published reports and press interviews with FirstEnergy Corp. executives citing severe financial challenges being faced by FES. Indeed, First Energy CEO Chuck Jones recently told Crain’s Cleveland Business “there’s blood in the water” because of FirstEnergy’s weakened financial state.

It is unfortunate that FES is facing such financial problems, but any offer FES makes to potential new customers (including you) should be evaluated in that light.

NOPEC’s primary goal is to immediately find an electricity supplier for our customers that is financially stable with a proven history of excellent service.

8. I’ve read stories about a court case with NOPEC and FirstEnergy. What’s that about?

We are in court with FES over some of the details of the termination of the contract and because we want to be sure that NOPEC’s customers and their electricity supply is protected should FES be sold or go bankrupt. This does not affect NOPEC’s ability to shop for a new supplier at a discounted rate to begin providing service when FirstEnergy Solutions ends service.

9. When NOPEC finds a new supplier to provide a discounted rate, what do I need to do to receive that rate?

You should do nothing. When NOPEC contracts with a new electricity supplier, NOPEC will send a new notice to you with an option for you to “opt-out.” If you are happy with the new rate, you do not need to do anything and your discount will automatically be applied to your bill. If you do not want to reap the benefits of NOPEC’s new rate, you can fill out the “opt-out” form and return it to NOPEC within 21 days of the mailing date. If you opt-out, you will return to the utility’s standard service offer.

For 15 years, the great majority of customers in NOPEC communities have signed up for NOPEC’s significant savings. NOPEC was started by communities like yours that recognized deregulation was an opportunity for a not-for-profit energy “aggregator” that could help communities negotiate better deals on electricity and natural gas.

It has worked for the roughly 500,000 NOPEC customers in 12 Northern Ohio counties who have saved money on their utility costs and gotten other benefits from NOPEC.

Nothing that has happened will change that.

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