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, the 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 will remain the distributor of electricity in the Village. The selected alternative supplier will generate the electricity provided and deliver it to ComEd for distribution. Customers will continue to receive electricity bills from ComEd and ComEd will remain 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 will end in June 2014. This is the first year of the program. 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 has determined that the most cost-effective choice for residents at the end of the June 2014 billing period is to return to the ComEd default rate, and has 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.
ComEd has announced that their rate will be 7.596 cents per kWh beginning in June, 2014 and will be reflected in resident's July bill.
Non-summer rates, effective in October, are anticipated to be in the 7.42 cents per kWh range.
The Village will continue to assess marketplace conditions until approximately June 15, 2014. If more competitive pricing than the ComEd default rate can be obtained prior to mid-June, 2014, and it is deemed to be in the best interest of residents, the Village will have the option of considering switching residents to the alternative supplier.
In summary, the Village's municipal aggregation electrical program remains in place, and we are electing ComEd to be our electricity supplier for the second year of our program unless and until the Village determines that more competitive pricing can be obtained.
Important Program Information:
1. Residents will receive a letter from ComEd: ComEd will send a letter to residents enrolled in the aggregation program, advising that their accounts will revert to the ComEd default rate starting with the July, 2014 billing.
2. Can residents "opt out" of ComEd?: Residents will continue to have the option of selecting another supplier for up to two billing cycles. After two billing cycles, residents will then be required to remain with ComEd for an additional 10 billing cycles (for a total of 12 months). Residents interested in choosing an alternative supplier would need to do so as soon as possible, but prior to June 30 is recommended in order to meet timing requirements.
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. Letter from FirstEnergy. The Village has learned that residents are receiving letters from FirstEnergy Solutions asking residents to continue to purchase their electricity from FirstEnergy. These letters, which have been sent to residents without Village knowledge or consent, have created confusion for residents.
The Village is providing residents with three important points of clarification.
First, the Village has had a contract with FirstEnergy for the Village's electricity aggregation program. That contract expires at the end of June 2014. At that time, residents who participate in the electricity aggregation program will be switched automatically to ComEd starting with the July 2014 bill.
Second, the Village attempted to negotiate a subsequent contract with FirstEnergy, but did not reach agreement on favorable terms for a contract, several of which involved important consumer protections.
Third, over the past several months, the Village carefully studied proposals from several other alternative electricity suppliers in addition to ComEd. The Village did not choose any of those proposals and instead chose ComEd, whose default rate and terms appear to be the most favorable for residents.
In the coming months, the Village will monitor the electricity marketplace to see whether an alternative electricity provider can supply the Village's electricity aggregation program at a savings over ComEd's rates.
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?