Carbon County officials are hoping to again save money on the county's electric bills.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board voted to advertise a special meeting at 11 a.m., on Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the commissioners' meeting room in the courthouse annex. The purpose of the meeting will be to hold an online auction for electric rates.

Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, said this is the second time the county has held an auction for competitive prices on electric rates.

On Jan. 12, 2010, Jason R. Ulshafer, principal of GreenPointe.Energy of Berwyn, Pa., the company hired by the county to execute the auction, hosted the online auction for the county's 2.7 million kilowatt hour usage.

At that auction, held because deregulation of electric rates allowed PPL Electric to increase rates nearly 30 percent, numerous electric providers from around the country bid for the county's services.

After the auction ended, the county signed a 23-month fixed rate with 10 percent green energy contract with Champion Energy Services of Houston, Texas. That contract expires at the end of the year.

Champion Energy submitted the lowest bid of 8.45 cents per kilowatt hour, which provided the county with significant savings of nearly $100,000 on its electric bill. If the county chose to stay with PPL, it would have paid between 11 and 15 cents per kilowatt hour in 2010.

The auction will again be completed over the Internet by GreenPointe.

O'Gurek said that following the auction, the commissioners will recess the meeting and review the bids, they will then go back into session and award the contract that same day.