Belpre mulling electricity aggregation

BELPRE — A pair of public meetings regarding electric aggregation were held prior to Monday night’s Belpre City Council meeting.

During Monday night’s council meeting, held by Zoom, council received a report from Luke Sulfridge, executive director of the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council.

Two public hearings, one at 4:30 p.m. and the other at 6:30 p.m., drew a few people who wanted to ask questions about the city’s electric aggregation program.

Sulfridge provided information about the SOPEC program which is interested in taking over the program. SOPEC represents 17 counties and communities in Southeast Ohio as a single aggregation group with a board featuring members from each participating community.

The goal of the aggregation program is to negotiate a fixed price for electricity for program members over a period of one or two years. Residents in participating communities can choose to opt out of the aggregation agreement and will pay the market value for electricity, which can vary from lower to higher than the aggregate cost.

Under the proposed plan, Belpre’s cost would be 4.9 cents per kilowatt hour, down from the previous year’s rate of 5.553 cents per kilowatt hour.

Council had hoped to vote on two ordinances regarding the SOPEC proposal at Monday’s meeting, but few councilmembers had received copies of the ordinances prior to the 7:30 p.m. start. A special meeting will be 3 p.m. Wednesday to review and possibly vote on the ordinances.

Wayne Towner can

be reached at



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