Residents in Northeast Ohio must make natural gas decision by October 6


COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 3, 2003 — The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC), the residential utility advocate, alerts natural gas customers in many Northeast Ohio communities of an important natural gas decision that must be made by October 6. Through the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC), an energy aggregator, many residents in nine communities should have received information about how to join or withdraw from the NOPEC aggregation program.

The mailing provides details about the rate being offered by Interstate Gas Supply (IGS), the Ohio-based company chosen by NOPEC to provide natural gas to customers. Consumers who have chosen a supplier on their own are not included in the buying pool and should not have received information from NOPEC.

According to the NOPEC opt-out offer, “Actual savings will vary depending on state and local taxes, the county in which you live, whether you have received service from a non-utility supplier during the last 12 months, and any other utility adjustments.”

To help residents compare the offer, they can contact the OCC toll free at 1-877-PICKOCC (1-877-742-5622) as well as visit the website at www.pickocc.org to use the interactive natural gas calculator for Dominion East Ohio to input the rate and determine if the IGS offer best meets their needs.

What is an opt-out aggregation program?

Aggregation is the process of joining consumers together as a group to buy natural gas. NOPEC has chosen the opt-out aggregation program, which allows customers served by NOPEC to “opt out” or remove themselves from the buying pool.

How will residents be affected?

Residents in the aggregated group are automatically included in the program and will be served by IGS unless they opt out of the program by October 6. After the initial opt out period, consumers who join the program will receive a letter from Dominion East Ohio notifying them that IGS will supply their natural gas. Consumers will have seven days from the postmark date on this letter to withdraw from the aggregation program at no cost, after which time a $25 fee will be charged.

Residents who opt out of the aggregated group will continue to purchase their natural gas supply from Dominion East Ohio. Whether residents participate in the buying group or not, Dominion East Ohio will continue to deliver natural gas to their homes, repair natural gas lines and send customers their monthly bill.

About the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel

The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) is the residential utility advocate serving as a resource for individuals who have questions and concerns or would like more information about the services provided by their publicly owned electric, natural gas, telephone and water companies. The state agency also educates consumers about utility issues and resolves complaints from individuals. To receive utility information brochures, schedule a presentation or file a utility complaint, residential consumers may contact 1-877-PICKOCC (1-877-742-5622) or visit the OCC website at www.pickocc.org .


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