Aggregation Aggravation

I got a letter today from the City:

aggregation-letter

Click to read it. At the bottom of the page is a tear-off form that I'm supposed to fill out and sign in order to opt out of the program, but my scanner won't scan legal-size paper, so you don't get to see it. It's not all that exciting; you aren't missing much.

Apparently, before I moved to Lesser Northeast Key Midwestern Swing State City (just 20 minutes South of Greater Northeast Key Midwestern Swing State City), the city residents voted to do this aggregation thinggy to, allegedly, get cheaper electricity. From what I gather, the government picks which electricity generator will sell electricity to the people who are part of the program, and uses the size of the group (and probably a little of its heft as a government bully) to get lower prices out of the chosen utility. Sounds a lot like a fancy way of dressing up an old-fashioned municipal utility monopoly to me.

My current generator is also the company that maintains the lines and delivers the electricity -- KMWSS Electric -- and I'm happy with the service. Under the new program, KMWSS Electric would still send me a bill for line maintenance and delivery, but the bill would include charges from this new company, PremierPower Solutions, for generation.

The fun thing about this whole nonsense is this: because "the voters" elected, in 2001, to allow this program, I will be bound by the new contract unless I take action to opt out. This is the exact opposite of how contracts are supposed to work. They're supposed to bind only the parties who agree, not the parties who fail to disagree.

I am disinclined to do this aggregation thing, but I'm also not the sort of person who does a lot of shopping around for lower electricity prices. My initial reaction is to not like the idea on principle. Does anyone have a relevant argument for why I should not opt out of the aggregation program?

Tom G Varik