La Grange chooses consultant for electrical aggregation
Updated: March 25, 2013 1:19AM
LA GRANGE — A consultant has been selected and two hearings were set on a plan to save residents money on their electric bills.
The meetings will be held at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 and Feb. 11 at the Village Hall, 53 S. La Grange Road on details of an electrical aggregation program approved by about 65 percent of voters Nov. 6.
The measure allows the village to pool, or aggregate, the electric load of residents and small businesses and buy electricity on their behalf. The process is similar to the way the village negotiates for garbage and cable services for the entire community.
ComEd will continue to bill residents for delivery of electricity and maintain the power grid to provide service. But with deregulation, the company will be in competition with other electrical suppliers.
LaGrange Park officials, for example, negotiated in June with First Energy, based in Akron, Ohio, to pay 4.93 cents per kilowatt hour, saving the average household $347 annually for the next two years.
Under La Grange’s program, residential and small business customers will be automatically enrolled unless they choose to opt out.
The Village Board approved a contract Jan. 14 with the Illinois Community Choice Aggregation Network, based in Chicago, which has negotiated contracts for 45 Illinois municipalities, including Chicago.
Assistant village manager Andrianna Peterson said the experience of this network stood out, as well as its flat fee of $10,500 to be paid by the supplier eventually chosen by the village.
Some consultants base their fee instead on a percentage of kilowatt hours used by the municipality.
Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative, selected by LaGrange Park, sought a fee of about $19,000 in their contract.
Rose Naseef, who lives on the 900 block of South Stone Avenue, urged the board to support purchasing cleaner energy than that made by using coal or nuclear fuel. Naseef cited risks to people from toxic waste, as well as harm to the environment.