If the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC)’s plans go according to schedule, electricity aggregation will come to Athens County by the beginning of the new year, reports The Athens News. Aggregation allows a group of residents and small commercial electric consumers to form a buying pool and obtain lower rates for electricity generation rates. (For more on the benefits of municipal aggregation, see ourApril 5, 2013 article.) SOPEC has “officially formed its council of governments” including “unincorporated areas of Athens County along with the communities of Athens and Amesville,” according to the article. SOPEC Director Roger Wilkens said AEP Energy “will provide the basic energy supply” and Empower Gas and Electric “will offer energy service that will complement that supply, including an energy-efficiency program.” Once those two companies approve the final proposed contracts, SOPEC will draft an opt-out letter, which the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) must approve. The approved letter will be sent to customers to provide a mandated 21-day period to opt out of the program, although customers may do so at any time. SOPEC says this could happen by late December or early January. Wilkens expects a “‘significant drop in electric rates’ once the program begins.” For more, read the full article.