NOPEC (Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council) was formed in 2001 by 112 communities in Northeast Ohio to provide lower energy prices to residents and small businesses by banding together to buy energy (natural gas and electric) in bulk. Each community placed the question of participating in NOPEC on the ballot for voters to decide. In November 2000, Mentor voters approved joining NOPEC to pursue lower energy costs for electricity. In 2002, Mentor voters approved joining the aggregation to find a bulk supplier for natural gas as well.
Since Mentor is a NOPEC community, residents are automatically included receiving energy supplied though bulk purchasing with prices negotiated by NOPEC staff. Every two years, “opt-out” notices for natural gas pricing are sent to NOPEC households, reminding them that they may opt-out of the program should they find a better price on supplied energy. Electrical opt-out notices are sent every three years.
The NOPEC Board, made up of representatives from the member communities, negotiates energy supply prices that remain stable over a long period of time. Many offers that consumers receive from energy suppliers provide short-term savings with prices subject to change when the initial promotion expires.
Often consumers are required to remain with the energy provider for several years or pay a penalty fee to switch. NOPEC customers who do not opt-out but wish to change suppliers before the end of the natural gas agreement can do so without a charge. Consumers who leave the electric program before the end of NOPEC’s contract will pay a cancellation fee.
In a nutshell, NOPEC buys gas and electricity in bulk to help lower your utility bills. As a NOPEC customer, you pay for the electricity or natural gas supply that you use. There are no additional fees.
Today the not-for-profit public energy aggregation serves more than 200 communities that total about 500,000 customers.
Residents can check rates and learn more about the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council at NOPEC.org.