Only Five Percent of Normal Residents Opted Out of Electric Aggregation

Normal residents voted in November to allow their town to join other local communities in an electric aggregation run by Good Energy, an aggregation consulting firm. Like all of the other municipalities involved, all Normal residents were automatically opted in to the program, but offered a chance to opt out of the aggregation by mail. In order to qualify for the opt out, the opt out form needed to be postmarked no later than December 16. After just over a month, the results are finally in.

753 of the 14,534 Normal residents eligible to aggregate opted out. Compared to the  aggregation opt out numbers from the spring, when roughly 10 percent of residents opted out of municipal aggregation, this is a great sign. Communications specialist Samantha Hager of Homefield Energy says she is not surprised by the outcome, explaining that “with education and awareness we expected that number to diminish.”

Homefield Energy is a Collinsville based subsidiary of Ameren that works independently of Ameren Illinois. They won the bid for Normal residents, and also for the residents of the other 51 communities who bid together through Good Energy in December. Homefield offered rates of about 4 cents per kilowatt for the length of the contract. Pleased with the result, Good Energy CEO Maximilian Hoover is happy to have helped the nearly 14,000 residents who opted in to the aggregation.

More municipalities will be putting aggregation to a vote in April. And for many, it will be a second chance at aggregation. Many communities have requested a second chance to vote, based upon the savings noted in surrounding communities.

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


Westville Puts Electric Aggregation on Ballot

Westville Village Board members voted to allow a referendum be added to the ballot in April regarding electrical aggregation. By approving this measure, the board has allowed aggregation to go to a village-wide vote. If the referendum passes, the residents of Westville will aggregate, something which many other Illinois municipalities have begun with great success.

By combining large groups of residents, Electrical aggregation attempts to reduce the electric bills of the residents. If the referendum is approved, the entire village of Westville will band together to negotiate with one electricity provider, hoping to receive substantially reduced rate due to the volume of the combined electric need.

In a meeting with the Westville Village Board, an energy consultant with Good Energy of Peoria, Jerod McMorris, claimed that the potential savings in Westville by aggregating are estimated to be $20 to $30 per resident per month. McMorris further stated that there will be an opt out clause available to all residents, if the referendum passes. Residents are automatically opted in to municipal aggregation, but the process of opting out is simple; just sign the notice sent and place it in the mail.

Good Energy is the consulting firm hired by Westville Village to help inform residents of what aggregation is as well as to negotiate with the power companies on the village’s behalf. Good Energy is familiar with the process of aggregation in Illinois; they have helped many other local municipalities save money through aggregation, and Maximilian Hoover, Good Energy’s CEO, is excited to help more Illinois residents save money on their electric bills every month.

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


Congratulations Long Overdue to 55 Member Communities Added to Our Municipal Electric Aggregation Group!

On December 11th, 2012, 55 communities became part of the largest residential electricity buying group in Illinois, and we believe in the entire country!  Once again, Homefield Energy provided the most competitive rates for electricity supply, those supply rates ranging from $0.03935/kWh to $0.04024/kWh.  Ameren's current rate may be found on the Plug In Illinois website, but as you will see, savings amount to approximately 28% on the the "supply" portion of the your Ameren bill (Ameren will continue to deliver your electricity and you will continue to receive only one bill from Ameren).  For the average home, that means savings of nearly $150/year.  To find out the exact rate for your community, go to Homefield Energy's "The Communities & Municipalities We Serve" page.  Here you'll not only be able to see your rate, but you'll also be able to see the contract Terms & Conditions, FAQs, the Opt-Out Letter you may have already received from Homefield, the Ameren Switching Letter you will receive from Ameren confirming the change in supplier, Timeline, and Community Links.  We wish to thank our municipal partners that realized the value proposition of municipal electricity aggregation for their constituents and had the resources to make savings like these a reality.  And of course, we'd like to thank voters for passing the electricity supply ballot question.  Well done!  With these newest 55 communities, we estimate savings for 385,000+ homes to be approximately $57.5 million/year through May 31, 2013.  On June 1st, Ameren rates reset and these savings estimates will be re-evaluated.  These 56 new communities include the following:

Albers Edwardsville Olney
Arcola Effingham Palestine
Ashmore Forsyth Paris
Bartonville Granite City Pittsfield
Beckemeyer Hartford RICHLAND COUNTY
Beecher City Humboldt Robinson
Belleville Hutsonville Roxana
Camargo Jerseyville Salem
Centralia Lerna Savoy
Cerro Gordo Lovington South Roxana
Charleston Mason Teutopolis
City of Madison Mattoon Troy
City of Venice Neoga Tuscola
COLES COUNTY Normal Village of Hamel
CRAWFORD COUNTY Oakland Village of Maryville
Decatur Oblong Village of Pontoon Beach
Dieterich O'Fallon Wood River
East Alton Ogden  

McLean County Board Selects Electric Aggregation Consulting Firm

The McLean County Board finally approves a contract with electric aggregation firm Good Energy. This vote allows the consulting firm to begin educating the public on what electric aggregation is and how it affects the residents of McLean county. It will also allow Good Energy to begin planning for negotiations with electric providers for a lower kilowatt-hour price, if the referendum passes.

Electric aggregation is based upon the principle that buying in bulk saves money. Should the referendum pass, it will allow Ameren customers in unincorporated McLean county to come together to purchase electricity at significantly lower rates from a different provider than Ameren.

There was, however, concern from several board members who wondered if it made sense to sign a contract now. Members George Wendt and Chuck Erickson thought it was too soon to sign a contract at this stage in the process. “By approving this, we’re endorsing the plan,” Said Wendt. “We should stay neutral.”

Several other members also wanted to wait until after the vote on April 9th to sign the contract. But Jerod McMorris, a consultant with Good Energy, explained that waiting to sign the contract would delay the course of action and would not allow the residents of McLean County to realize the benefits of lower rates.

In addition to advising the county during the aggregation process and informing the residents of the benefits of aggregation, the contract stipulates that Good Energy must determine which residents are eligible for electric aggregation. This information is crucial to the negotiation process, which is slated to start in mid-May if the referendum passes. By delaying, McMorris warned, that information would not be ready in time for negotiations.

If you would like more information about electric aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.



Monticello Puts Electric Aggregation on April Ballot

Another Illinois city is considering Electric aggregation as a way to help residents substantially save on their electric bills. The Monticello City Council voted to put a referendum on municipal aggregation to a vote in April.

Municipal aggregation, which is the process of bidding as a group for electricity, thus lowering rates, would be the cause of significant savings for residents. If approved, Monticello residents stand to receive substantial savings based upon the outcome of similar action taken by other communities last year. 54 communities voted “yes” for electric aggregation last year, locking in an average rate of 4.09 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is almost 40% lower than the current Ameren rate of 5.65 cents per kilowatt-hour. This creates an average savings of about $300 per year.

But these savings are up to the discretion of the voters. This measure will appear on the April 9th ballot, and will concern every Monticello resident. If approved, every resident will be opted into the new plan automatically, and as a result they will begin to purchase electricity at the severely reduced rates. Should any residents decide they do not want to purchase their electricity with the new provider, they will be given several opportunities to opt out of the aggregation plan and continue to use Ameren. Ameren’s standard delivery rates will not change based upon the decision of voters in April.

Monticello hired Good Energy, a consulting firm who specializes in the municipal aggregation process, to facilitate their process. Good Energy is expected to help the city through the entire process, including educating the public and helping to negotiate the best price on delivery.

If you would like more information on municipal aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.

Source: The News-Gazette



Unincorporated Woodford County, Streator to Vote on Electric Aggregation

Voters in Central and Southern Illinois will have a lot to think about at the ballots on November 9. Except in those communities who approved it last year, there will be a referendum on nearly every ballot in the area to allow municipal aggregation. Even municipalities like Woodford County and Streator, who previously denied the measure, will have the measures back on the ballot in the spring. Both the Woodford County Board and the Streator City Council approved the referendum in close votes.

Streator had the referendum on the ballot in November. The measure was defeated 610-411, in a vote that shocked City Manager Paul Nicholson who said that he had no idea why voters turned it down the first time. But 5 months later, they will have another opportunity to take advantage of the cost savings.

Woodford County Board Member John Krug said, “The philosophy is it seems to have been successful to get a cheaper bid. We felt it was worthy to bring it back to the board.” The board members of Woodford County have seen the savings afforded the residents of nearby communities who began aggregating last year, and have been fielding calls from residents wondering when they will get a chance to receive the same benefits.

Aggregation took off last year and the results for the communities which have taken advantage are remarkable. The success of aggregation is causing many residents in non participating communities to wonder why they are not receiving the benefits of municipal aggregation. This effect is spreading, and residents of municipalities like Woodford County and Streator, which strongly denied the referendum last year, are clamoring to see the referendum on their next ballot..

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


Electrical Aggregation to be on City of Danville Ballots

On April 9, the Danville ballot will have a referendum for electrical aggregation. The Danville City Council voted on Tuesday night and unanimously approved the referendum. All members voted except Ward 1 Alderman Kevin Davis and Ward 2 Alderwoman Lois Cooper, who were both absent.

The referendum will read, “Shall the City of Danville have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?”

The city may now either enter into an agreement with a consulting firm like Good Energy, who currently works with over 100 local communities, helping them to realize the best savings possible on electricity, and will be negotiating a third round of bidding after the April ballots, or attempt to negotiate with energy companies alone, like Vermilion County did late last year. However the council decides to go, the ultimate goal of aggregation is to band the residents together to negotiate a better rate on electricity.

The county passed a similar measure in November, but it was determined this measure could only apply to the unincorporated areas of the county. And since the City of Danville is incorporated, residents of Danville were excluded. In November, however, residents of Danville thought the referendum would apply to them, and they voted to pass the measure by a 2-to-1 margin. This support in November means there is support for aggregation in Danville.

As with the county contract, if the referendum passes, there will be a required opt out clause in any contract the city signs. Also, aggregation would be required to start within 60 days of the ballot.

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


Oblong Chooses Homefield Energy

When residents of the Village of Oblong voted yes on an electric aggregation referendum in November, they did not know who would win the bid to supply their electric. Customers can finally choose whether or not they want to remain in the aggregation and take advantage of the services and cheaper rates now that the Village of Oblong has chosen Homefield Energy.

In November, when the municipalities whose residents voted to aggregate banded together, they hired Good Energy, an electric aggregation consulting firm, to guide them. Good Energy will now begin to send opt out notices in the mail since an electric provider has been chosen. Residents who wish to remain in the program do not need to do anything, they are automatically opted in. Should any residents want to continue to use Ameren as their supplier, they have to mail back the opt out notice.

All 55 municipalities in southern and central Illinois who joined the recent aggregation run by Good Energy have agreed to use Homefield as their electric supplier. Homefield Energy is a subsidiary of Ameren Energy Marketing, the parent company for current electric provider Ameren.

Savings will vary for each customer based upon each individual usage pattern. The projected average savings on 800 kilowatt hours per month for a residential customer will be roughly 24 percent. The new contract is effective in January and those who do not opt out before then will begin to receive their electricity from Homefield. A second opt out notification will be sent out by Homefield Energy before they begin servicing clients in Oblong.

If you would like more information about Municipal Electric Aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.

Source: Oblong Gem


Marion County Wants Electric Aggregation Vote for Unincorporated Areas

Municipal aggregation is being suggested by the Marion County Community Relations Committee to go to a county vote. This proposal was sent to the Marion County full county board, who needs to endorse the proposal. A decision by the board might be reached as early as their next meeting, which takes place next Tuesday. A decision now allows ample time to add a referendum to the ballot on April 9th.

The leading firm for the job of advising Marion County is Good Energy, a leading consulting firm in the field of municipal aggregation. Dale Kelley, an Energy Consultant for Good Energy, tells why they are the best option for lowering rates on electricity. He says, “No one is matching what this aggregation is putting together, and they're like to do as good or better in the future.  It's well organized, we've got qualified people.  It's always there, it's transparent; they've got an office in Edwardsville already.  They will have a call center that you can deal with.”

For those who worry about the costs associated with contracting a third party to run the operations of the aggregation, there is good news. Kelley affirms that the county will have no costs payable to Good Energy if the measure is approved. All expenses for their services, including expenses for educating the public about the vote, will be paid by the winning provider. Should the residents vote the referendum down, Good Energy pays the expenses.

There is an opt out clause available to any residents who would prefer to use Ameren for their electric needs, otherwise electric aggregation automatically includes all qualified residents. In addition, if Ameren’s standard rates fall below the rate negotiated in the contract, the contract becomes void and customers return to the lower Ameren rates.

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

Source: WJBD Local News


Fairview City Council Deliberates on Electric Aggregation

All across Illinois, residents are seeing huge cost savings from electric aggregation, leaving Fairview City Mayor Gail Mitchell wondering if her residents are ready to save, too. She has put forth a resolution that asks voters if the city should "have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such a program?"

Electric aggregation is a simple concept: buying in bulk saves money on other services, so why should this not hold true for electricity distribution? If the referendum passes, the city will have the ability to negotiate electricity supply prices for all residents and small businesses. A simple majority is required to pass the referendum, at which point the city will negotiate with multiple electric suppliers to find the lowest rate.

To place a referendum on the ballot, a specific process must be followed. At this point, the only thing holding off a vote on the April 9th ballot is a vote by the city council to allow the resolution.

All residents will be automatically invited to partake in the discounted rates, unless they formally opt out. Should a customer opt out, they will continue to be serviced by Ameren Illinois at their standard rates. To opt out of electric aggregation in Illinois, there are two options. The first option comes when the community negotiates the new rate and chooses the new provider. The second option comes when the current provide, Ameren Illinois, directly sends an opt-out notice.

If you would like more information about Municipal aggregation, click here. For the full article, see below.