The Board of Education directed the administration to extend the electric and natural gas contracts for 24 months each with the current vendors.
The decision was made during the Board of Education Meeting on May 29.
Kaneland is using Satori for electric and Constellation for natural gas.
Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, associate superintendent for Kaneland, said that the two vendors have been good to work with regarding service and billing, but that the contracts are due to expire in spring 2020. Since the market for both gas and electric is favorable right now, Fuchs and Mark Payton, director of buildings and grounds for the district, advocate taking advantage of current pricing.
“We would get a new rate for the last two years of the contract,” Fuchs said. “Currently we’ll use the price that we have for one more year and then we’ll extend it for two years. We don’t know what that fixed price is. We have an approximate fixed price but the market changes daily and so once the board gives us authority we can go and watch the days and try to hit the low day.”
The cost of these utilities for the district are substantial with Fuchs noting that for electric in 2017-2018 the district spent just under $630,000 and is on track to spend $635,000 this school year, which will vary depending on how hot the weather gets through June 30. For gas during the same timeframe, the cost was $178,000 with about $174,000 expected for the current year.
The extension of the existing contract by two years is the maximum length of a contract allowed by law. The actual price will be determined on the day that the contract is signed.
It’s kind of an educated assessment.
“If you can lock in your energy rates it’s a good time to do it and that’s what prompted us to look into this,” Payton said. “It’s a potential cost avoidance, but you really don’t know with 100 percent certainty until that date gets here. It’s not really a savings.”
The recommendation passed 6-1.
Ryan Kerry was the lone board member to vote against it.
“I guess I’m comfortable with the electric because we’re getting a bunch of different numbers,” he said. “But not so comfortable with the gas with not knowing with what other companies might offer us, is my two cents worth.”