*Updated 10/04/2023


For City of Cleveland FirstEnergy/Illuminating Customers

*Press Release: Program Updates

We are very pleased to announce the City of Cleveland has finalized the roll-out of the 2023 Community Choice Electricity Aggregation to our eligible residents and small commercial businesses, starting in August 2023, thanks to City Council’s timely legislative approvals and work by our program partner Sustainable Ohio Public Energy Council - SOPEC.


Through our group buying power with selected aggregator SOPEC, the city administration was able to secure a very competitive default ‘opt-out’ 1 year fixed rate of 6.302 cents/kWh for the electricity supply, backed by 100% Green-e certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).  This price will save the average residential electricity account approximately $200 over the next year, compared to the Illuminating Company’s default electricity supply rates (12.4 cent/kWh).


As early as Tuesday, June 20th, eligible Cleveland residents can expect to see program letters from SOPEC that outline the community choice aggregation program, including step-down and opt-out pathways. For questions related to the program, contact SOPEC at 1877-648-1937

What is Community Choice Aggregation?

Community Choice  Aggregation (CCA) is the opportunity for the City to provide residents an alternative "choice" to the default electricity supplier that the utility company uses. CCA programs are not mandatory, residents can opt-out if they wish. This is an optional service that the City provides to its residents, and this is how it works: 

Electricity utility bills have two parts:

  • A usage fee to move electricity through its wires and;
  • A supply fee for the actual flow of electricity through its wires.

In Ohio, everyone has the option to shop for their own supply

  • CCA programs allow for the City to combine or “aggregate” the electricity supply for residential and small businesses into one bulk amount. This is then used to carefully select an alternative choice to the default electricity supplier that the utility company uses.
  • The benefit of combining (or aggregating) into a bulk amount is that this method is more likely to provide a better electricity product at a more stable price than residents could achieve on their own.


The City of Cleveland's Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program is expected to start in August 2023. Customers of FirstEnergy and the Illuminating Company can expect to see higher electricity rates throughout the Summer months of June and July. In anticipation of the upcoming rise of electricity rates, here are the available options for Cleveland residents: 

Low-Income Households

If you are a low-income household experiencing high-energy burdens, we encourage you to enroll in utility assistance programs to help manage energy costs.

  1. The Summer Crisis Program is an assistance program that provides cooling and electric utility assistance during the summer months. Applications open from July 1, 2023 thru August 31, 2023. To apply for Summer Crisis Program an appointment is required, you must meet one of the following criteria:

    • Have a household member of 60 years of age and older or;
    • Have a household member who can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member's health or;
    • Households that have a disconnect notice, services have been shut-off, or are trying to establish new electric services, or;
    • Enrolling in Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) for the first time or have a PIPP default.

  2. Enroll into PIPP (Percentage of Income Payment Payment Plan). This program helps Ohioans afford utility bills through subsidies. Applications are accepted year-round and can be submitted online at https://bit.ly/OhioEnergyAssistance, no appointment is required. PIPP applications can take up to 12-13 weeks to process.

  3. HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) is a federally funded program that provides a one-time payment to low-income households to help them pay their home heating and cooling costs. HEAP benefits can be combined with PIPP benefits. Applications open from July 1, 2023 thru May 31, 2024 and can be submitted online at https://bit.ly/OhioEnergyAssistance, no appointment is required.


To schedule an appointment or for application assistance, residents can call 216-350-8008: 

Senior Adults are encouraged to apply for utility assistance programs regardless of income. The Cleveland Department of Aging can provide guidance on resources available to Seniors, please call 216-664-2833 or email [email protected].

Moderate + Above Income Households

Residents of moderate or above incomes can wait to be automatically enrolled into the City's program. If residents prefer not to wait, they can visit the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Apples to Apples electricity comparison webpage or call 800-686-7826 for more information on finding their own supplier.

  1. Wait/Do Nothing: We highly recommend for Cleveland residents to wait to be automatically enrolled into the CCA program as the default option.
  2. Equal Billing Payment Plan: Equal billing lets you pay the same amount for your utility bill every month, regardless of how much you use.
    • To enroll in equal billing, you may contact FirstEnergy and/or the Illuminating Company at 1800-633-4766 or sign up online.
  3. Shop Apples to Apples: The "Apples to Apples" tool by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) allows you to compare the CCA program rate with other options from different electric suppliers. An abbreviated list of options is listed in the FAQs. NOTE: The City of Cleveland is providing this list for information only and is not endorsing any of these suppliers.

Utility Assistance Resource Fairs coming soon to Cleveland soon! Residents will receive on-site financial assistance for water, sewers, stormwater, gas, and electric bills.

I am a Cleveland Public Power (CPP) customer, do I need to do anything?
No, CPP customers are NOT affected by this change and no action is required.

I am a FirstEnergy/Illuminating Company customer, how do I enroll?
No action is required, all eligible customers will be automatically enrolled in the new program.

How do I know if I am eligible to participate in the new program?
All customers are automatically eligible, however, there are two exceptions: 

  • Customers enrolled in PIPP are not affected by rate increases, as their bills are based on household income and consistent year-round.
  • Customers that are currently contracted with an independent energy supplier will not be automatically enrolled to participate.


Can I still participate if I am already contracted with another energy supplier? 

You may be able to withdraw from your current supplier with an early or no termination fee, but please check with your supplier directly. Once your contract ends and if you match the program's eligibility criteria you will be automatically enrolled in the City's new program. This website will have additional information in July about possible "opt-in" options through the City's community choice aggregation program. 

What do I do if I receive solicitations (door knocks, phone calls, etc...) from independent energy suppliers?

We advise you to NOT sign anything, write down the representative's name, company information, and immediately contact PUCO at (800) 686-7876. These companies are not apart of the City's community choice aggregation program and could lock you into an unreasonable contract.

If the PUCO does confirm an electricity supplier is certified, and you do not want to wait to be automatically enrolled in the City of Cleveland aggregation program, we strongly recommend that you ask a number of questions of any electricity supplier you talk to:

  • Are you offering a fixed rate electricity supply contract to me?
  • What is that fixed rate price?
  • How long will that fixed rate last? 1 month? 6 months? A year?  What happens to my price after that?
  • If I agree to a contract with you, can I end that contract without any an early termination fee or other fees in order to join my city’s community choice aggregation program in July? 


I don't want to wait, what do I do? 

If residents prefer not to wait to automatically enrolled into the city's program, they can visit the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Apples to Apples electricity comparison webpage or call 800-686-7826 for more information on finding their own supplier. Below is a list of potential options from the PUCO website. The City of Cleveland is providing this list for information only and is not endorsing any of these suppliers:


AEP Energy

(877) 648-1922 6.45c/kWh 12 MO https://www.aepenergy.com/acquisition/campaign/offers/?state=OH&cc=puco-fe&utm_source=A2A&utm_medium=shopping&utm_campaign=ic_12



Dynegy Energy Services

(833) 277-8471 5.99c/kWh 7 MO https://www.dynegy.com/



Direct Energy Services, LLC

(877) 698-7551 6.99c/kWh 12 MO https://www.directenergy.com/ohio/electricity-plans



Energy Harbor Services, LLC

(844) 487-0822 6.28c/kWh 6 MO https://energyharbor.com/en
6.68c/kWh 12 MO

Other questions to ask are listed on the PUCO website - https://puco.ohio.gov/utilities/electricity/resources/choosing-an-electric-supplier


The City of Cleveland is making strives towards a more sustainable future. In a recent interview with 3News - we discuss the City's climate justice efforts and how this work will help to build a thriving City. Cleveland is embracing innovative solutions, such as promoting renewable energy, enhancing public transportation, and implementing energy-efficient measures. By prioritizing climate justice, we're ensuring that all Clevelanders have access to clean air, clean water, and sustainable opportunities for a better future.   


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