ELBURN – Since Elburn began its electric aggregation program in 2011, the village has saved the average participating household more than $500 – and a new rate should continue savings, Village Administrator Erin Willrett said.
But, she noted, the new rate, which takes effect in September, won’t be as low as the previous rate of about 4.7 cents per kilowatt hour. It will be 7.32 cents per kilowatt hour.
“Energy prices are just sky-high,” Willrett said, “and ComEd is more competitive, too.”
A large increase in capacity charges – which energy suppliers must pay to power generators to ensure enough power will be produced to meet demand – as well as a rise in cost for the actual power contributed to the increased prices, according to the village.
Elburn aimed to get the cheapest rate as possible when it recently sought bids to renew its electric aggregation program, Willrett said. She said FirstEnergy Solutions – the company the village currently works with – was the lowest of seven bidders.
The 7.32-cent fixed rate is contracted for three years, ending in September 2017. Customers automatically would be switched to ComEd if that utility company’s rate ever goes lower, Willrett said.
ComEd’s rate in June rose to 7.596 cents per kilowatt hour, plus or minus a floating purchased electricity adjustment that varies monthly, according to the village. Eligible residential and small commercial accounts will receive an opt-out notice about the program details, Willrett said.
“Nothing’s really changing except for the rate,” she said. “We knew that was going to happen. That’s the only thing we want people to be aware of.”
The municipal electric aggregation savings program was established in 2011 after voters authorized it with a referendum. Elburn reports it has resulted in a cumulative village-wide savings of $1,015,000 through May 2014. The average participating household reportedly has saved $561.
“It’s just another way that we can provide services at a cheaper rate,” Willrett said. “Anything we can do to help offset monies coming out of their pocket is something we strive to do.”
For information, call FirstEnergy at 888-651-5200 or Elburn’s electric aggregation consultant, NIMEC, at 800-727-3820. Callers to NIMEC should leave their number to be contacted within 24 hours.