To avoid FirstEnergy doubling your cost of electricity the deadline is May 2, sort of

May 2nd, is the day people need to decide to stay with FirstEnergy, see if they will be scooped...
May 2nd, is the day people need to decide to stay with FirstEnergy, see if they will be scooped up by NOPEC, or go out on the open market and find their own provider.
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 11:27 AM EDT

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -For more than a month, Cleveland 19 has been warning FirstEnergy, Illuminating Company and Ohio Edison customers that in June the amount you are charged for electricity is going to more than double and the deadline is here.

The cost per kilowatt hour (KWh) will go from about 5.9 cents to 12.4 depending on which of the three companies sells you your electricity.

For a lot of Northeast Ohio communities, BUT NOT ALL, NOPEC will automatically scoop up customers it dropped last summer.

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.

Last spring, NOPEC experienced the same problem FirstEnergy is having this spring, which is buying extremely expensive electricity on the open market and sending those costs on to consumers.

As a response, last summer NOPEC released all of its customers back to their standard service offer (SSO), which for the overwhelming majority was FirstEnergy.

But NOPEC is back, with a rate of 6.45 cents/KWh which is better than June’s 12.4 cents from FirstEnergy.

There is a third option, if NOPEC doesn’t cover your area, or you’d rather go with another provider.

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.

But do your homework to see if those cheaper prices are because it’s a variable rate, has monthly fees or is offering a cheap promotional price for only a couple of months.

Anyone who has already chosen a third party provider will not be scooped up by NOPEC, and will remain on contact with whomever they chose.

All along the “deadline” has been described as May 2nd, evening though the price change doesn’t happen until June 1st.

“In Ohio, cities and counties are permitted to form aggregated buying groups to purchase electricity or natural gas in bulk on behalf of their citizens, oftentimes for a lower rate,” a statement from FirstEnergy said last week. “These programs automatically enroll all local residents, unless they individually opt-out of the program and choose not to be included. Customers may call their electric company and ask to opt out of the aggregation program before May 2.”

Here’s why.

Meter readings for FirstEnergy customers begin on May 2nd, to determine exactly how much electricity you used in a month.

But they can’t get them done for everyone on the same day.

In fact, there are 21 different days throughout the month your meter might be read.

To make sure you aren’t using any FirstEnergy, 12.4 cents/KWh electricity in June, the switchover needs to happen by today.

For example, let’s say your meter gets read every month on or close to the 20th.

Your meter will be read May 20th, and then not again until June 20th.

That means for a portion of the time you will still be using FirstEnergy electricity and have to pay for at least a portion of the month at the higher rate.

It usually takes one to two billing cycles to see the change over.