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GUEST COLUMN:
Using Energy Choice to live well in retirement

Helping consumers understand their utility options is how PUCO makes aging its business

June 8, 2016
By Asim Z. Haque, Chairman
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

At the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), our mission is to assure all residential and business consumers access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices, while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices.

The services and opportunities the PUCO offers to Ohioans are many, and in a state with more than 2.5 million citizens over the age of 60, it is especially important for us to make these services as accessible and understandable as is possible.

Asim Z. Haque, Chairman, PUCOOhio's seniors are living longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives than ever before, and the PUCO is committed to helping them live well in their retirement. A great many of our state's seniors are utilizing the PUCO programs available to them, and we always want to see that number grow.

One of the programs the PUCO oversees is Energy Choice Ohio, which allows Ohioans to take more control of their electric and natural gas services by choosing an alternative supplier.

The electric and natural gas markets have been restructured in Ohio for more than a decade. That means, while continuing to receive service from your local distribution utility, you can choose an alternative energy supplier - just as you shop for other products and services. The ability to choose an electric or natural gas supplier gives consumers a greater variety of pricing plans and allows the consumer more freedom to determine the best option for their household or business. Participation not only gives you the freedom to work with a supplier and take advantage of unique product offerings, but also the peace of mind that you will still receive the same high level of service from your local utility.

Whether looking for lower prices, a 100 percent renewable energy supply or a more stable rate, with the Energy Choice Ohio program, Ohio's public utilities customers can choose the energy supplier that best fits their wants and needs. By visiting the Energy Choice Ohio website and looking through the different electric and natural gas offers available, Ohioans can gain a better understanding of Ohio's Energy Choice program.

It is important to be informed about this program, and especially to know what to ask suppliers when considering the various offers and contracts available. The PUCO has put together a list of questions we urge you to ask suppliers before signing a contract. Please visit the What to Ask Suppliers page on the Energy Choice Ohio website to review this list of questions. Additionally, keep in mind that until you are certain you want to select a supplier's offer you should not give your account number.

At the PUCO, we make it a point to keep Ohio's seniors informed and engaged in their utility services. We invite any Ohio senior with questions about Energy Choice Ohio to contact the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) or visit www.energychoice.ohio.gov. Additionally, the PUCO has several energy choice experts who are available to give presentations about the Energy Choice Ohio program and the benefits of shopping for a new supplier. Anyone interested in having an expert come speak to their club or organization can request a speaker on the contact page of the Energy Choice Ohio website.

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Aging. It's Everybody's Business.

The Ohio Department of Aging is celebrating Older Americans Month with the theme: "Aging. It's Everybody's Business." All month long, we are turning our blog over to our many and various partners, from our sister state agencies to organizations and individuals working every day in our communities to build a stronger Ohio for all generations.

This article is presented for informational purposes and its posting here does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of Aging of the author, his or her organization or the opinions expressed.

 

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