by Phil Keren | Editor
Silver Lake — Recently, there has been some confusion regarding the village of Silver Lake’s natural gas aggregation program with Direct Energy Source.
Silver Lake Mayor Bernie Hovey told the Falls News-Press that anyone who is already in the aggregation program and wants to remain in it, does not need to call Direct Energy.
However, anyone who is not enrolled in the aggregation program and wants to sign up, must call Direct Energy Source at 1-800-651-3202 before Dec. 8, according to Bethany Ruhe, senior manager of public relations at Direct Energy.
Ruhe noted that two different letters were sent out by Direct Energy.
Ruhe explained that an Oct. 19 letter was sent to customers who are already enrolled in the aggregation program. That letter said the customers would be automatically enrolled in the natural gas aggregation program unless they chose to opt out by either returning a postcard enclosed with the letter or by calling Direct Energy. Meanwhile, a Nov. 6 letter from Direct Energy was intended for customers who live in the aggregation program area, but are not currently enrolled in the program, said Ruhe. That letter told the recipients that they must call Direct Energy before Dec. 8 to enroll in the program.
Some confusion occurred when some residents who are enrolled in the program received the Nov. 6 letter after they had already received the Oct. 19 letter telling them that they would be automatically enrolled, said Hovey.
Hovey said he had “no idea” how many people received both letters, but said Village Hall received “several phone calls” from residents seeking clarification on the issue after the Nov. 6 letter was released. He said he clarified the issue with a Direct Energy official Nov. 16.
Ruhe emphasized that if anyone wants to clarify their status with the program, they should call.
“When in doubt, always feel free to call,” said Ruhe, who added that “a quick check of our system [will] determine what course of action [the customer should take].”
Anyone who is already enrolled with a different natural gas supplier should check the terms and conditions of their existing agreement before they sign up with the Direct Energy program, according to the Nov. 6 letter.
For its program with Direct Energy, the village has established a rate of $4.767 per 1,000 cubic feet (mcf) through the November 2013 billing cycle, according to a letter from Direct Energy.
Earlier this year, Silver Lake officials announced the continuation of the natural gas aggregation program with Vectren Source through the April 2014 billing cycle.
However, Direct Energy Source is now serving as the endorsed supplier for the village’s natural gas program after the company acquired Vectren Source earlier this year, according to Hovey.