New Power, AMPO Team on OH Gas Aggregation Programs

The New Power Co. (TNPC), a subsidiary of NewPower Holdings, Inc., and AMPO, Inc., a subsidiary of AMP-Ohio, Inc., reported that they have entered into a letter of intent to co-brand a natural gas aggregation program for residents and small businesses throughout Ohio. TNPC said gas aggregation programs are beneficial because they leverage the group buying power of consumers to negotiate favorable prices and services.

Under the agreement, TNPC and AMPO will develop gas aggregation programs throughout Ohio by means of a two-year strategic marketing agreement. By teaming up with AMP-Ohio, which is a nonprofit wholesale power supplier and services provider for most of Ohio's 85 community-owned public power systems, TNPC will gain access to most of Ohio's markets. AMP-Ohio also owns the Richard H. Gorsuch Generating Station, a 213 MW coal-fired facility located in Marietta, OH, that provides power to 48 participating member communities.

AMPO and the City of Cleveland also announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding under which TNPC will develop a fixed price natural gas program for Cleveland consumers. TNPC said the new program will offer Cleveland consumers a low, "fixed" cost natural gas alternative for the upcoming heating season.

"We are very pleased about this new relationship with AMPO and the opportunity to serve residents and small commercial customers in the City of Cleveland," said H. Eugene Lockhart, NewPower's CEO. "Aggregation is being used with success in Ohio because it gives consumers buying leverage that helps to lock in better energy rates. The timing of this program gives Cleveland consumers the opportunity to avoid the frustrating and unpredictable heating bills that they experienced this past winter."

The move to set up gas aggregation programs comes just days after the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) released "Natural Gas Price Issues in Ohio," a 32-page report explaining last winter's high gas prices, the state of Ohio's gas choice programs, and possible remedies for both issues (see NGI, May 21). Under a recent amendment in Substitute Ohio House Bill 9, the PUCO will allow the aggregation of consumers by governmental entities.

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