There’s good news for customers who purchase their natural gas at what is called a utility’s standard offer, or the Standard Choice Offer (SCO).
The latest auction to determine the price for the monthly rate for the next year came in at a historic low and 17 cents cheaper than the amount called the “adder” from the past year.
The “adder” will be 43 cents per thousand cubic feet (mcf), down from 60 cents/mcf for the past two years, $1/mcf in 2012 and $1.20/mcf in 2011.
The 43-cent/mcf “adder” is the lowest since the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved the auction process in 2006.
I have recommended consumers sign up for the SCO gas rate for some time since pricing is so low and supply is good.
There was a temporary change this month with the SCO price that began Feb. 14 with rates rising to a high of $6.16/mcf. That was because the market temporarily spiked during weather concerns. The unusual winter continues to have an effect on prices, and I’ll keep watching. The SCO in 2013 had ranged from a low of $3.83/mcf in February to a high of $4.75/mcf in May and June. Those on the SCO rate are assigned a provider by Dominion East Ohio and pay a rate based on a state-approved formula.
The SCO is determined by using the closing price on the third to last day of the previous month on the New York Mercantile Exchange plus the 43-cent/mcf price.
The new prices will be effective with April bills. Four winning suppliers submitted successful bids to provide natural gas to about 180,000 SCO customers and 120,000 SSO customers, out of Dominion’s 1.2 million customers.
SCO customers will get new providers in March and April and the first bill using the new formula will be in April. The Beacon Journal will publish the provider list later.
Former Summit County Probate Judge Todd McKenney has continued a community service project he began in 2012 when he was in office.
A program was started to help county residents understand court procedures and avoid probate by examining residential deeds.
The attempt was to notify homeowners who could benefit from creating what is called a Joint and Survivorship Deed or another document called a Transfer on Death Affidavit (often called a TOD or a TOD deed).
The transfer allows a property to go from a single person or widow or widower to heirs. Both scenarios would transfer property without probate court involvement.
These are recommended for people in a first marriage or those who are single with adult children and with a home as their largest asset. Single or divorced parents with minor children might not want to have a TOD to young children.
About half of 31 communities’ deeds were checked by program volunteers.
In 2013, volunteers began reviews in Barberton. Letters to about 4,300 affected homeowners were sent recently and a public meeting and free legal clinic with volunteer attorneys will be held from 9 a.m.-noon on March 1 at the Lake Anna YMCA/Active Adult Center, 500 Hopocan Ave. The clinic is funded by a grant from the Barberton Community Foundation.
McKenney, who now works in private practice, said he expects a strong turnout, so he suggests reserving a seat. Residents can call to RSVP, which could shorten the wait time upon arrival. RSVPs can be made at 330-252-6419.
Previous stories about the project and deeds can be found at www.tinyurl.com/deedproject.