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LIBERTY TWP. – When summer cooling bills begin spiking upward, Liberty Township residents may get some relief in their bills.

That is if they participate in the township’s electric aggregation program approved by voters last November.

Aggregation allows local communities to buy natural gas or electricity as a group and thereby gain buying power to solicit the lowest price for the group’s utility needs.

Trustees have approved an agreement with Constellation New Energy to supply electricity to the aggregation program.

The cost will be 4.77 cents per kilowatt hour for standard electricity and 4.87 cents per kilowatt hour for renewable energy.

That compares to 5.39 cents per kilowatt hour now being charged by Duke Energy, said Kristen Bitonte, township administrator.

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 “We’ve made it (renewable) an option in virtually all of our communities,’’ said Dan Deters, a consultant with Energy Alliances Inc. “It’s still cheaper than (Duke). It’s just less of a discount.”

Residents could save about 12-13 percent off Duke’s rate, Deters said. There would be no change in the distribution section of the bill.

“It will still be one bill, you’ll just see a different company listed for the generation charge,’’ Deters said. “Nothing changes with the service at all. It will be totally seamless.”

Residents and business owners will be getting letters in the mail next month explaining the program and how consumers can opt out during a 21-day period if they so choose.

Once that timeframe ends, consumers will be switched to Constellation effective with their next meter reading.

Most residents will see changes reflected in their July or August bill, Deters said.

“We try getting them in as fast we can to get as much of the first summer as we can (with the new supplier) the first year,” Deters said.

No supplier has been recommended yet for the gas aggregation program, also approved by voters last November.

Deters said he expects to give trustees a recommendation on a supplier for that program within 60 days.

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