Columbus Residents to Begin Receiving 100% Clean Energy in June
Residents and small businesses in Columbus will begin
receiving electricity from renewable energy resources in June 2021 through a
voter-approved community choice aggregation program known as Clean Energy
Columbus (CEC). In November 2020, 76% of voters approved the city’s plan to
provide electric customers in Columbus with 100% clean energy from new
Ohio-based wind and solar.
The aggregation effort began with Columbus Mayor Andrew J.
Ginther’s 2020 commitment to provide city residents with clean renewable energy
by 2022. Following voter approval, the City, the City’s aggregation consultant,
Trebel Energy, and the City’s preferred supplier AEP Energy began the process
of implementing the program and securing renewable resources for the city’s
generation needs. CEC will be the largest electric aggregation in Ohio and one
of the largest in the United States.
“Clean Energy Columbus is a key component in our aggressive
goal of making Columbus carbon-neutral by 2050 and will bring a multitude of
health and economic benefits,” said Mayor Ginther. “The effects of climate
change are a social justice and equity issue because of the impacts on
neighborhoods that have faced socio-economic challenges. This program will not
only help us meet our long-term climate goals, but ensure those on the
frontlines of climate change are benefitting most from our efforts .”
Under CEC, June 2021 to June 2022 will serve as a transition
period whereby renewable energy credits will be used to provide clean
generation sources. AEP Energy will then begin to blend in new Ohio-based wind
and solar as the projects complete construction and begin flowing power to the
With the construction and maintenance of these new wind and
solar assets, the program will support nearly 4,500 jobs in Ohio. Through the
program, the City and AEP Energy will also form a Clean Energy Workforce
Development Committee to support building a diverse, local workforce pipeline
into clean energy and energy efficiency jobs of the future. Each entity
will invest $150,000 annually for a total of $300,000 each year to support the
work of the Committee.
“AEP Energy is proud to have been chosen to partner with the
City of Columbus in the fulfillment of its commitment to providing 100%
Ohio-based renewable energy. Columbus is not only the location of AEP’s
corporate headquarters, but it is home to many of our employees who live, work
and raise their families in this great city and surrounding areas. We are
excited to play a role in this transformative initiative and help drive the
development of new clean energy in the state,” said Greg Hall, president of AEP
Residents who have already switched to a competitive retail
supplier can join CEC by visiting www.CleanEnergyColumbus.org
or calling 1-888-307-0264 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. or
Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. Residents enrolled with a retail supplier
are encouraged to check with their current provider to ensure they are not
subject to an early contract termination fee.
Residents who participate in CEC will continue to receive
their monthly electric bill from AEP Ohio, the local utility responsible for
delivering the electricity. While AEP Energy is an affiliate of AEP Ohio, it is
a competitive retail electricity supplier and does not represent the utility.
Columbus residents will soon receive “opt-out” letters
informing them of their option to decline participation in the city’s
aggregation. Customers will have 21 days from the date on their opt-out letter
to waive participation. Opt-outs can occur by mail or by phone. There is no
cost to enroll in the program, and customers can choose to leave the program at
any time without financial penalty. Customers who wish to participate do not
need to take any action.
Providing Columbus residents with clean, renewable energy is
part of a broader push by the City to lead on climate action and was supported
by the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. Columbus is
one of the 25 winning cities in the Climate Challenge, which is helping cities
set and surpass ambitious climate goals by ramping up action in the two
highest-emitting sectors in cities: transportation and buildings.
“Clean energy means clean air—and healthier Ohioans,” said
Stefan Schaffer, City Strategist for the American Cities Climate Challenge at the
Natural Resources Defense Council. “Clean Energy Columbus will reduce the
amount of electricity sourced from fossil fuels and replace it with
locally-generated renewable energy sources, all while investing in workforce
development and energy efficiency programs for low-income residents, and
centering historically disenfranchised communities to receive these benefits.
So many wins for our city coming out of this program that are aligned with all
the other clean energy and sustainability projects Columbus has been driving as
part of the American Cities Climate Challenge.”
About AEP Energy
AEP Energy, a subsidiary of American Electric Power is a
certified competitive retail electricity and natural gas supply provider
operating in 28 service territories in six states and Washington, D.C. AEP
Energy supplies electricity and natural gas solutions for more than 500,000
residential and business customers and takes pride in making it easy for
customers to buy, manage and use energy. Based in Columbus and Chicago, AEP
Energy is committed to excellence by delivering value, innovative energy
solutions and excellent customer service.