Electricity aggregation is on the ballot in 90 places around Illinois, from Albers to Wyanet. If voters approve, these 90 counties and cities would join 300 that have already passed referenda, allowing them to present themselves as a group to an electricity supplier in hopes of getting a cheaper price.
Doug Scott, chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, says the alternative suppliers are, for now, cheaper than Ameren and Com Ed. “The savings so far have been very good through choice and through aggregation. The question becomes, as you go forward, what do those economics look like when Com Ed and Ameren are able to better compete on the open market for power as well,” he said.
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The savings that have been occasioned are typically 2-4 cents per kilowatt hour compared to the Ameren or Com Ed rate determined by the Illinois Power Agency.
The law has allowed residential and small business electricity customers to choose alternative suppliers since 2000, but only in recent years have the economics of electricity generation brought forth a panoply of suppliers to offer customers a choice.
Under municipal aggregation, a city will negotiate a deal with a supplier, and customers will get that deal unless they opt out and go with a different supplier. In all cases, Ameren or Com Ed still sends the bill, and Ameren or Com Ed still maintain and repair the system.
The status of Illinois communities that have or are considering municipal aggregation: