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The Athens Community Center will be closed from December 22-27
The Athens Community Center will be closed from Monday, December 22nd through Saturday December 27th for cleaning and maintenance. Read on...
Court St. is closed between Union St. and Washington St for crane access
The City of Athens announces Court St. is closed between Union St. and Washington St for a crane to access the Moore Russell Building Read on...
West Union Street/S. Congress Street
The Contractor for the West Union Street Project will continue working near the West Union Street/S. Congress Street intersection through Thursday, December 18, 2014 to complete concrete repairs along S. Congress Street and at the intersection. Read on...
Around Athens

Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC), the organization that brings together Athens County, Athens City and Athens County villages, starting with Amesville, under an electric aggregation partnership, inked its deal with providers for the region’s electric aggregation.

In November 2013, voters in the region approved SOPEC’s pursuit to secure reasonably priced energy supply through the bargaining power of pooled customer aggregation purchase. Contracts with AEP Energy and Empower Gas & Electric, LLC (Empower G&E) were signed into agreement with SOPEC, underscoring an important milestone for how the region consumes and pays for its energy use. The negotiated rate for electrical power provided by AEP Energy is $7.549 per kilowatt hour (kWH). That represents a reduced cost of 28% as compared to the applicable residential electric utility price to compare for the month of December 2014.[1] Twenty five percent of that energy will be from renewable sources.

“Bringing our community together as one, large buyer of electricity was a significant win for our region,” said Chris Chmiel, Athens County Commissioner and Chairman of SOPEC. “Because of the steps our community has taken, every household and small business is now eligible to take advantage of a negotiated price for their electricity.”

In addition to receiving a negotiated price for electrical energy supply, SOPEC also instituted measures in its aggregation plan to provide the region with both energy efficiency and locally sourced renewable generation. Empower G&E was selected as the partner to provide these services.

“We are the first region in Ohio to pursue an aggregation program that includes energy efficiency and renewable generation efforts as part of the overall aggregation plan,” Roger Wilkens, SOPEC Administrator. “In the coming months, you’ll be seeing our Empower G&E partners out in the community offering an affordable energy efficiency package to help reduce a household’s energy use. It’s very unique.”

Empower G&E will be offering a comprehensive energy efficiency product for homeowners that will include home insulation, energy efficient LED light bulbs, wall caulking and a smart thermostat. Homeowners will have the option to pay for the installation of the energy efficiency product upfront, or utilize low interest financing offered through the Empower G&E program. Installation of the products will be sourced through local contractors.

“We recognize Athens’ desire to be perceived as an innovator relative to how the public uses and pays for its energy,” David Milenthal, CEO of Empower G&E explained. “In turn, we have developed an energy efficiency product that not only is affordable to the everyday homeowner, but will also save the homeowner even more money on their energy use starting day 1 after installation. And we’re proud to offer this product through contractors and installers located right here in Athens County.”

SOPEC’s overall aggregation program includes the negotiated rate for  energy supply, the energy efficiency program offered through Empower G&E and the eventual development of locally-sourced solar energy and household rooftop solar arrays, also being offered through Empower G&E. The renewable energy offerings will be in place later in 2015.

A letter from SOPEC outlining the overall aggregation program with the opportunity for households to opt-out of the aggregation rate is forthcoming. The energy efficiency and renewable energy products will be available to homeowners regardless of whether they opt-out of the aggregation rate.


SOPEC is a Council of Governments that combines the pooled purchasing power of its members to acquire reasonably priced electricity and other energy services. Recognizing that the energy industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation driven by deregulation and the rise of distributed generation, Athens City, Athens County, Amesville , and soon other Athens County villages; have joined together to provide electric aggregation, energy efficiency programs and local generation of renewable power. As other communities join SOPEC, other energy services, such as gas aggregation will be added.

[1] Estimated savings apply to the generation and transmission (if by passable) service portions of an eligible customers electricity bill and are based on Savings calculated using the SOPEC price of $7.549 cents per kWH versus the December, 2014 Price to Compare (PTC) in the AEP Ohio Utility District. PTC’s are subject to change. AEP Energy's price excludes certain taxes, utility distribution charges and other utility charges and fees. While eligible customers have the potential to save money under the SOPEC Program there is no guarantee of any price savings over the term of the aggregation.

Fall Leaf Pickup
Leaves can be raked to the curb and will be swept up by leaf vacuums, free of charge to city residents. Bagged leaves can also be picked up by the city at a $1.50 charge per bag.  Call 592-3343 and leave a message for pickups.

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Free movies at the Athena on Court Street
Saturday the 6th, 13th and 20th at 1 PM and 3 PM
Cost for admission: canned food donation.