As a result of changes to state law, municipalities can choose to arrange for the provision of electricity to residential and small commercial retail customers by alternative electric suppliers (instead of ComEd). Electric Aggregation allows a municipality to consolidate electrical energy consumption within their communities and leverage that demand to seek bids to purchase electricity in bulk at lower rates.
On November 6, 2012, a referendum authorizing the Village to arrange for an "opt-out" electricity aggregation program passed by a margin of about 65% (4,733 to 2,515). To read a staff report and ordinance passed by the Village Board on November 26.2012, please click here.
Under an "opt-out" electricity aggregation program, ComEd remains as the distributor of electricity in the Village. The selected alternative supplier generates the electricity provided and delivers it to ComEd for distribution. Customers continue to receive electricity bills from ComEd and ComEd remains responsible for all distribution system issues, including outages and equipment maintenance. Eligible residents are automatically enrolled in the program unless they choose to "opt out".
The Village's one year agreement with First Energy Solutions to supply electricity ended in June 2014. Approximately 89% of eligible residents and 80% of eligible businesses participated in the program for the first year, with cumulative savings of over $500,000.
After a thorough review of market pricing for the second year of the program, the Village determined that the most cost-effective choice for residents at the end of the June 2014 billing period was to return to the ComEd default rate, and opted to switch residents back to the ComEd default rate starting with the July, 2014 bill. The Village's Plan of Operation and Governance anticipated this possibility, by including an option that the Village could choose ComEd if it was in the best interest of residents.
In March 2015, the Village Board determined that it would monitor anticipated ComEd rates for 2015-16 in order to determine whether to conduct a bid process of alternative providers for the Village's Electrical Aggregation Program.
The ICC recently released new residential ComEd rates, effective June, 2015. For planning purposes, the new annual rate will be 7.13 cents per kWh. Because the Purchased Electricity Adjustment can fluctuate up to a half cent each month, residents will pay between 6.63 cents per kWh and 7.63 cents per kWh for the next 12 months.
When comparing the ComEd rate to indicative pricing from alternative suppliers, it does not appear at this time that the time and expense of a bid process will result in significant savings for residents. Therefore, residents will remain with ComEd unless they choose a different alternative electricity supplier on their own.
The Village will continue to assess marketplace conditions, and will consider rebidding the electrical aggregation program if competitive rates can be acquired and the Village believes it is in the best interest of residents to do so.
Important Program Information:
1. Notification: Residents participating in the Village's program should have received a letter from ComEd in July, 2014, advising that their accounts will revert to the ComEd default rate starting with the July / August, 2014 billing. Residents will remain with ComEd unless they "opt in" to another program or if the Village decides to contract with an alternative supplier.
2. Can residents "opt out" of ComEd?: Residents can "opt out" of ComEd. Please visit the Citizens Utility Board or Illinois Commerce Commission websites for a list of alternative electrical supplier offers and important information regarding selecting an alternative supplier (see Item 3 below for more information).
3. How do I find out about other alternative provider offers? Available offers are listed on the Citizen's Utility Board website or the Illinois Commerce Commission website. It is recommended that residents fully review and compare the details of the offer (rate, term, cancellation fee, etc.) before making a selection.
4. What if I have questions? Please view a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding electric aggregation for more information or call the Village at (708) 579-2315.
5. No one from the Village or anyone acting as an agent of the Village will call you or come to your door asking to switch your service or for your account information. No one from the Village will visit your home nor will they call you to ask for personal information about you or your ComEd account.
Door-to-door solicitors are required to have a license and badge from the Village. If you are visited by a solicitor regarding electric service and that person does not have a permit and badge issued by the Village, please contact the Police Department's non-emergency number at 708-579-2333.
Residents may also be contacted by misleading telephone solicitors asking for enrollment confirmation information regarding a Village sponsored electric aggregation plan or other personal account information. No solicitor is authorized to contact residents on behalf of the Village, and residents should be wary of claims from a caller saying that they represent the Village or are confirming enrollment in a Village program.
6. How do I select an alternative supplier? Each resident has the option to switch her or his individual electricity account to an alternative electricity provider. When deciding whether to select an alternative supplier, residents should be careful that they fully understand the terms being offered by that alternative supplier. As examples:
- Is the rate proposed by that supplier competitive compared to ComEd and other alternative suppliers?
- Is the term of the contract favorable or too long or too short?
- Can or will the price for electricity change during the term of the contract?
- Are there fees or charges other than the price of electricity?
- Is there a penalty for cancelling the contract, if for example the resident finds a better price from a different supplier?