Electors Vote on Aggregation of Electricity
January 19, 2012
On March 20, 2012, registered voters of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Long Grove, Palatine, Vernon Hills, and Wheeling will have an opportunity to vote on a program called Community Choice Aggregation. Residents will vote if their village may seek competitive pricing bids for electrical services under a single contract that would include residents and small businesses.
In 2010, the Illinois State legislature gave municipalities a tool to help taxpayers save money. Villages are able to seek competitive pricing for the provision of electricity to resident and small businesses. In order to seek competitive prices for electrical services in one contract, village’s needs approval from registered voters through a referendum. Area communities have been working together on the Community Choice Aggregation initiative. By working together and leveraging a larger pool under a single contract, it is believed that resident and small business consumers in the participating municipalities will have lower electric bills and save money.
The referendum question on the March 20, 2012 election asks voters if the village should have the authority to seek competitive pricing bids for electric services under a single contract. Specifically it asks:
Shall the Village of Palatine have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
The villages receive no financial benefit from this initiative. The purpose of pursuing this initiative is to lower electricity costs for the benefit of residents and businesses within each participating municipality. If the referendum is approved, the participating municipalities would issue one Request for Proposal for certified wholesale electric suppliers to submit proposals for this initiative. Each municipal board would accept the best bid based on the lowest price, and based on the supplier who best meets the evaluation criteria established by the participating municipalities. Since electric prices would be lower, residents and business electric bills would decrease.
Each electric customer would be contacted by the selected new electricity supplier. If individuals do not want to participate in the program, they may opt out of the program and stay with their current electric supplier. If residents and small businesses already have a contract with an electric supplier other than ComEd, they could opt-in when their contract expires. Customers could also select if they want to pursue green or renewable energy.