Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro announced May 8 the county has joined the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council. NOPEC is the largest governmental retail aggregator in the nation and will provide the county an opt-out natural gas aggregation program. In April, Summit County Council approved the county's participation in the NOPEC program, which is expected to bring lower natural gas rates to participants and reduce administrative burden for the county.

"Allowing the county to join NOPEC will be beneficial to our residents by allowing savings on natural gas bills through leveraging group purchasing efforts," Shapiro said. "Through NOPEC's general assembly, our county will be represented along with communities throughout Northeast Ohio in choosing our energy suppliers and maximize our potential savings."

Residents in Northfield Center, Richfield, Springfield and Twinsburg will automatically be enrolled into the natural gas program in the coming months.

NOPEC currently serves over 200 communities in 13 countries. In Summit County, NOPEC serves Macedonia and villages of Clinton, Northfield, Richfield, and Reminderville, as well as Sagamore Hills Township. NOPEC does electric aggregation, but not natural gas aggregation, in the Twinsburg and in Lakemore and Peninsula townships.