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A council of governments would decide if Warren can take part in the program.
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Although an open-enrollment period has expired for communities wanting to take part in an energy-buying consortium, Warren probably would not be turned away.
Councilwoman Virginia Bufano, D-1st, hopes legislation she plans to sponsor is ready next week so lawmakers can vote on whether to participate in the cost-saving plan.
If not then, council would vote on it at its Sept. 26 meeting.
Joe Dirck, spokesman for Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, said the deadline was Aug. 31, but "it's not hard and fast."
NOPEC's board of directors would make the ultimate determination, but Dirck said he's sure Warren would be accepted.
Shops around: NOPEC is a council of governments under the chairmanship of Eastlake Mayor Dan DiLiberto that shops around for the best deal in natural gas.
The consortium negotiated with suppliers earlier this year and signed an endorsement agreement with Shell Energy, which is offering natural gas at $5.51 per thousand cubic feet for this quarter, Dirck said.
Residents who live in NOPEC communities have the choice to go with the endorsed supplier or seek service on their own.
The rationale, Dirck said, is that communities band together in the interest of saving money.
"With deregulation, this is the only way an individual customer can have leverage in the marketplace," he added.
Asking for talk: Bufano said she plans to ask that a NOPEC representative talk to council before it would vote on such legislation.
Being a NOPEC community would be beneficial, especially because winter is approaching, Bufano said.
NOPEC is made up of cities, townships and counties in Northeast Ohio.
Trumbull County commissioners recently joined NOPEC on behalf of township residents.