Have you checked your electricity bill lately? If not, you could be getting an unwelcome surprise in June. First Energy’s prices are expected to double next month and unless customers act now, they’ll be seeing the changes on their electric bill this summer.
According to Dan DeRoos at Cleveland 19 News, The cost per kilowatt hour (KWh) for FirstEnergy, Illuminating Company and Ohio Edison customers will go from about 5.9 cents to 12.4 in June, depending on which of the three companies sells you your electricity. Consumers need to review their options and, if needed, change their provider starting NOW to avoid seeing their bills double.
Why the Huge Increase?
Betty Lin-Fisher, energy reporter at the Akron Beacon journal explains, “The price is based on a series of three competitive auctions of suppliers throughout the year monitored by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and blended into a price for the next year. FirstEnergy does not make a profit on the price, which is determined by the auction, and passed along to consumers, the utility said.”
First Energy’s auction price was determined at the October auction during a high point in the market, said Dave Jankowski, director of marketing for NOPEC, a large government aggregation group. The final FirstEnergy prices have not yet been determined, but it will at least be the average weighted price.
What Can I Do to Avoid a High Energy Bill?
De Roos reports that, “For a lot of Northeast Ohio communities, BUT NOT ALL, NOPEC will automatically scoop up customers it dropped last summer.” he recommends that customers will, “First to need to find out if you are covered by NOPEC electricity, and not just natural gas, by clicking here to look at their coverage map.”
If customers are not covered by NOPEC, or would prefer to go with another provider, there are other options. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) provides this website where you can shop for electricity on the open market and there are some prices cheaper than NOPEC.
Also, customers may want to check if their municipality is a part of an aggregation plan that may offer even lower rates. For example, the city of Massillon offers residents the option to opt in to their plan with Energy Harbor at 4.89 cents/kWh and no termination fee through May 2025.
Residents also can choose more environmentally friendly options by choosing companies that source energy from 100% renewable sources. These plans can often be a bit more expensive, but are still a less expensive option than the anticipated prices through First Energy.
FirstEnergy, Illuminating Company and Ohio Edison customers can review all of their options on the Apples to Apples website.