Hoopeston City Approves Good Energy

Good Energy was unanimously approved by the Hoopeston City Council to become the consulting firm to help the city through the municipal aggregation process. Originally thought to be a part of the Vermilion County aggregation referendum passed in April, Mayor Bill Crusinberry and the Hoopeston City Council recently learned that that referendum only applied to unincorporated areas of the county. Because of this, they voted to allow a referendum on the April ballot, allowing Hoopeston to join the rest of the Vermilion County municipalities who have contracted Good Energy.

The goal of Good Energy is to save all residents of the counties and municipalities they work with as much as possible on energy costs. They make this happen with municipal aggregation, which is the process of banding municipalities and counties together to purchase energy at wholesale rates directly from the wholesale energy companies. When compared to the contract submitted by Vermilion County, the decision to sign the Good Energy contract was easy.

Jerod McMorris, the Good Energy consultant working with Hoopeston, is excited to start educating residents on what electric aggregation is and how it helps to lower monthly electric bills. To help get him started, McMorris asked the council to aid him in setting up meetings with local organizations, a town hall meeting, and has requested to place an ad on a billboard. This will be the beginning of the education process about the many benefits of aggregation. McMorris expects that residents will approve the referendum in April, as long as they understand exactly how aggregation works.

For more information on municipal aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.



Aggregation Misinformation Being Peddled

Central and southern Illinois has recently become a hotbed for electric aggregation. Many municipalities either have recently gone through aggregation or are scheduled to vote on aggregation this April. Due to all of the changes and voting, people are talking about the pros and cons of aggregation, and this is causing some misinformation to spread.

Some of the worst culprits of the spread of misinformation are actually municipal aggregation consulting firms who want to get a piece of the aggregation business pie in Illinois, and scammers looking to steal your information. Residents in many municipalities which recently contracted Good Energy, a respectable consulting firm that has helped over 100 local municipalities with aggregation, have been solicited by strangers at their door claiming to be with competing firms and offering lower rates.

Citizen’s Utility Board agent Jim Chilsen says consumers need to be careful and always read the small print because, though door to door solicitation is not illegal, what many of these individuals have been doing is. Many of the alleged representatives have been doing something called slamming. Slamming is the practice of stealing your account information from a bill they request to see, so that they can change your service to another provider without your consent.

If your municipality recently hired Good Energy as their municipal aggregation consultant, be careful if any other companies try to solicit you.

To get more information about what to look out for from scammers, or for general information on municipal aggregation, please come to the next meeting of the Citizens Utility Board which will be held next Monday at 6 pm at Godfrey Village Hall.

For more information on municipal aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.


Rossville Board Hears From Good Energy Pitch as Electrical Program Partner

Rossville Village Trustees recently met with representatives of Good Energy, the municipal aggregation consulting firm that plans to represent roughly 80 percent of central and southern Illinois municipalities after their next bid, to discuss how electric aggregation can help their residents. As an incorporated village within Vermilion County, residents will have to approve aggregation separately from the county. The county approved an aggregation referendum in November.

Jared McMorris, the Good Energy representative who made a presentation to the Rossville Village trustees, said that Good Energy does not sell electricity, but instead negotiates contracts with wholesale power supply companies on behalf of municipalities.  So what Good Energy actually does is bundle residents of municipalities and counties together to get a lower rate on electricity. This, he explained, is how customers save money through municipal aggregation. According to McMorris, “We like to think of ourselves as the Sam’s Club of energy brokers.”

Good Energy has set a goal 100,000 households for their next round of bidding. As such, representatives of Good Energy have been involved with nearly all of the towns and villages in Vermilion County. CEO Maximilian Hoover hopes that his company can help all of Vermilion County, both the incorporated and unincorporated portions, save money with discounted rates on energy.

Good Energy has proposed a no cost consulting option to the county, where they are paid by the wholesale company who wins the aggregation bid, and only if the referendum passes. What they will do in exchange is run a public education program which will explain to residents what aggregation is. This, they say, will be accomplished through public meetings, speakers at civic organizations, mailings, and handouts. If after their efforts the referendum is approved, Good Energy would assist in the bidding process and with contract negotiations.

For more information on municipal aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.


Vote Planned on Consultant for Danville Electric Program

The Danville City Council will vote on a recent proposal submitted by Good Energy, which would name them a municipal aggregation consultant for the city. Mayor Scott Eisenhauer has already endorsed the proposal, saying he feels the Good Energy proposal is in the best interest of residents. The council will meet at 6pm on Tuesday in the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building, 17 W. Main St.

Eisenhauer considered bids from six firms when they decided to pursue electric aggregation as a city. After reviewing the bids, he cut them down to two. Between the two, he decided to endorse the Good Energy proposal.

The proposal states that Good Energy will be responsible to educate the public about municipal aggregation and to explain why a second vote is needed in Danville. They will also be responsible to collect the bids from the wholesale energy companies, to negotiate the rate and terms of the contract, and to help the city receive the best rate on electricity in future negotiations. What’s more, says Eisenhauer, the contract will cost the city nothing. Should the referendum on April 9 fail, Good Energy will cover their own associated costs. But if the referendum passes, Good Energy will affix a negligible 0.0075 cents per kilowatt hour fee to the lower per kilowatt hour rate.

Vermilion County recently aggregated, signing a contract with Integrys. Due to a recent governmental decision, the residents of incorporated cities are not included in the contracts of counties, however Integrys offered the contract on an opt in basis to residents of Danville. Under the terms of the aggregation, which Vermilion County did without the help of a consultant, residents can obtain a 4.26 cent per kilowatt hour rate lock. By contrast, Good Energy secured a rate lock of 3.9999 cents per kilowatt hour in Champaign County through a group aggregation with other Good Energy clients.

For more information on municipal aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.


Good Energy Recommended for Woodford County Aggregation

The Woodford County Finance and Economic Development Committee has approved Good Energy, the municipal aggregation consulting firm responsible for dozens of aggregation votes and contracts in Illinois, to represent the unincorporated areas of Woodford County should the upcoming referendum on April 9. This approval brings Good Energy before the full board, who will vote on their contract on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Good Energy has a distinct place in the municipal aggregation market of Illinois. They currently represent Eureka, Roanoke, Deer Creek, Normal, and Bloomington and have had many successful aggregation negotiations. For example, last year they were able to negotiate a flat rate of 4.08 cents per kilowatt hour through Homefield Energy. Ameren at that time was offering a rate of 5.467 cents per kilowatt hour for the first 800 kilowatt hours used.

All residents of unincorporated Woodford County who are not excluded will enjoy the savings of Municipal aggregation. Small businesses, residents currently getting electricity from a cooperative, and any resident who uses more than 15,000 kilowatt hours per year are excluded from the aggregation. Good Energy will start receiving bids from contending energy providers once the referendum passes. After all bids have been received, Good Energy and the Woodford County board will negotiate for the best rate possible with several providers. Once a contract has been signed, all residents will be opted in to the aggregation. Any residents who do not wish to participate in the aggregation may opt out.

For more information on municipal aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.


Good Energy Talks to Leaders

Danville Aldermen saw a proposal by representatives of Good Energy, an electric aggregation consulting firm they recently hired to help with their aggregation program, on Tuesday night. The Aldermen and Mayor Scott Eisenhauer consulted with the representatives to get a clearer understanding of what comes next should the April 9 referendum seeking approval for municipal aggregation through Good Energy pass.

Maximilian Hoover, the CEO of Good Energy, mused about how excited he is to help the residents of Danville realize these great energy savings each month. The Good Energy representatives explained how municipal aggregation works, and how it is so effective in saving residents of Illinois money. By skipping the middle man and entering directly into a contract with a wholesale energy provider, municipalities can receive substantially reduced rates on electricity. By joining with Good Energy, the municipality joins a large group of other local municipalities Good Energy represents. This group, then, is able to command an even better rate.

Eisenhauer wants it to be clear, “there is no outlay financially from the city.” Municipal aggregation is paid for by a marginal fee affixed to the rate Good Energy negotiates. In exchange for collecting bids from power companies and negotiating the most attractive rates and terms, Good Energy will add a negligible fee of not more than .00075 cents per kilowatt hour. Previously, Good Energy has saved residents over 20 percent on their electricity bill every month, inclusive of fees. Additionally, any resident may opt out of the municipal aggregation program at no cost. If residents opt out, they may remain with their current supplier or use someone else.

Should the referendum pass the vote on April 9, residents should start to notice the savings by July.

For more information on municipal aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.


Oakwood hears Details on Electric Aggregation

This week, the Oakwood Village Trustees added Oakwood to the growing list of municipalities interested in electric aggregation. Aggregation, which is simply purchasing retail electricity at wholesale rates, is starting to catch on all throughout Illinois. Municipalities all over are considering aggregation as a way to help their residents save money.

Dale Kelley, a consultant with Good Energy of Peoria, presented the benefits of aggregation to the trustees earlier in the week. Good Energy is a municipal aggregation consulting firm with experience helping many other municipalities through the aggregation process. Kelley was unable to say exactly what the rates will be if voters approve aggregation on April 9, but he predicts around a 20 percent savings in energy for residents.

He then explained how aggregation works. Energy is sold on a commodities market, just like many other goods. Because of this, brokers can buy electricity for an entire municipality at a cheaper rate than individual residents can. “Good Energy will go to the marketplace and ask for bids from power companies,” Kelley said. Good Energy and the village trustees will then review the bids from the power companies, and negotiate  the lowest rate.

Kelley also explained that there are a number of “green” options available to municipalities. By law, a minimum of 25 percent of received energy must be renewable. Beyond that, it is up to the discretion of the municipality how much additional green energy is used. Up to 100 percent of received energy through aggregation can be renewable. Because of this, municipalities are able to negotiate however they feel.

For more information on municipal aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.


City Council Selects Broker for Electric Aggregation

When the DeWitt County board voted earlier this year to place an electric aggregation referendum on the April 9 ballot, they did so with the intention of allowing residents to have the power to lower their electricity bills. If the referendums pass, municipalities will be able to employ consulting firms to negotiate lower rates from electricity suppliers on their behalf. The Clinton City Council voted to contract Good Energy as the consulting firm on Monday.

When a municipality, or a group of municipalities, join together to save money on electricity rates for their residents, it is called municipal aggregation. Since electric rates are generally less for large groups, aggregation gives municipalities the ability to offer residents significantly reduced electricity rates. Third party firms, like Good Energy, offer municipalities their experience in, and understanding of, negotiating aggregation contracts. Third parties ensure that municipalities receive the lowest rates available, while also maintaining the low rates in each annual auction. Two firms made presentations to the Clinton City Council, but Good Energy’s proposal was stronger, and thus the council voted to contract them. The residents of Clinton, like many other Illinois municipalities in the past year, will have the chance to vote for monthly electric savings on April 9.

Aggregation only applies to Clinton residents who are current Ameren customers. The savings will only affect the usage charges. It will still be the responsibility of Ameren to maintain utility wires, transformers, and other related equipment. Good Energy CEO Maximilian Hoover is excited about the potential savings for Clinton residents, hoping to be able to lower their monthly expenses after the vote.

For more information on municipal aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.


Edwardsville official Sets Record Straight on Electric Aggregation

Homefield Energy was recently chosen to supply energy in Edwardsville at substantially reduced rates to all residents currently using Ameren Illinois. A recently approved referendum allowed the city council, with the help of Good Energy, an electric aggregation consulting firm, to negotiate with energy suppliers for the best group rate available. Since the contract was signed, however, there has been some confusion among residents.

City Administrator Bennett W. Dickman, in an effort to help better explain the municipal aggregation process, recently released a prepared statement. Of primary concern, the approved aggregation “will save the average electricity consumers about $100 to $150 per year on a residential bill,” says Dickman. Except members of the Southwestern Electric Cooperative, all residents were automatically included in the municipal aggregation, and were given two opt out chances by mail. Additionally, any residents who have chosen to opt out of the program have the option to rejoin the aggregation, should they so decide.

In addition, he wrote, the city will be using 100 percent renewable energy sources from Homefield Energy. And even with the small additional associated costs for the fully renewable energy sources, the savings of $100 to $150 per resident will remain in tact. This choice, Dickman says, continues to enforce the city’s “Cool Cities” initiative. As stated, the city council enlisted the help of Good Energy, a consulting firm with extensive experience in Illinois municipal aggregation. Good Energy CEO Maximilian Hoover is proud to have been a part of the negotiations which allowed residents to utilize renewable energy sources at such low costs.

For more information on municipal aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.


Deadline to Opt-out Nears

Residents of Edwardsville approved a referendum on November 6 which allowed city officials to aggregate their energy as a way to obtain cheaper energy rates. With the approval of the city council, Good Energy was contracted to help the officials. Good Energy is an experienced municipal energy consulting firm that works with many Illinois municipalities. Among the terms of their contract is a clause that all residents must be given the option to opt out once the final contract is signed by the wholesale provider.

And the time to opt out is here. Edwardsville and other municipalities began receiving bids from energy suppliers on December 11. The winning bid came from Homefield Energy. They offered a17 month, 100 percent green energy contract. Good Energy CEO Maximilian Hoover was pleased at this offering, stating that he was proud to be able to help so many residents save money every month. Should any not want to be a part of the aggregation, and thus not receive the lower rates being offered, then they need to fill out and return the opt out card which was sent out.

For the rest who do plan to take advantage of the rates and remain in the aggregation, there is nothing they need to do. The way aggregation works is that residents are automatically opted in. For the residents who do remain a part of the aggregation, not much besides the size of their bills will change. Bob Mill of Ameren said, “Your relationship with Ameren Illinois will not change under this option. When there is a power outage, our crews have no idea where you are buying your power supply from. They don’t care. Our job is to get the lines restored.”

For more information on municipal aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.