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Report: Oswegoans saving on ComEd bills : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Report: Oswegoans saving on ComEd bills
Aggregation referendum has saved 'average' homeowner $316

by John Etheredge


The average Oswego homeowner has saved $316 on his ComEd bills over the last 14 months as a result of the village's electric aggregation programs.

The aggregation program has cumulatively saved village residents $2.68 million since being implemented in the late summer of 2012.

The Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative (NIMEC) calculated the savings estimates, which were released by village officials Tuesday evening.

NIMEC is an organization that negotiates electric rates for Oswego and numerous other northeastern Illinois municipalities, including neighboring Montgomery, Yorkville and Sugar Grove.

Village voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum in March 2012 authorizing the village to seek competitive bids for the electric power portion of village residents' ComEd electric bids. After passing the referendum, the village contracted with NIMEC to seek the bids on the village's behalf.

Through NIMEC, the village contracted for electric power with a private firm, FirstEnergy Solutions, Inc. at a rate of 4.750 cents per kilowatt hour, significantly lower than ComEd's current kilowatt per hour charge of 6.005 cents.

Steve Jones, village administrator, noted village residents did not have to do anything after the referendum was approved to obtain the savings on their electric bills.

Residents who did not wish to participate in the aggregation program and wanted to continue to receive their electric power from ComEd were required to notify the village.

Jones noted that residents who chose not to participate in the aggregation program but now want to can still do so by contacting FirstEnegy at 888-651-5200.

Under terms of its contract, FirstEnergy will continue to provide electric power to village residents at its current rate of 4.750 cents per kilowatt hour term through July 2014.

Jones said NIMEC will likely begin negotiations with FirstEnergy on a new contract for the village this spring.

Depending on the outcome of the negotiations, NIMEC could recommend the village approve a new contract with FirstEnergy or seek competitive bids from other electric suppliers, according to Jones.

Prior to last year's referendum, village officials estimated that an average village homeowner would save approximately $20 per month on their electric bill under an aggregation program.

NIMEC's estimate that the average village homeowner is now saving $316 almost annually, which amounts to a monthly savings of $22.57.

In a related matter, board member Terry Michels questioned village staff about the possibility of state lawmakers approving aggregation for natural gas bills.

"It's out there," Jones confirmed, but added he is uncertain of the current status of the natural gas aggregation effort in the General Assembly.

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