Bloomington Voters Get a Second Chance on Electricity Savings

Voters in Bloomington get another opportunity to vote on an electric bundling program which is projected to save residents upwards of $200 annually. A similar referendum was voted down in a surprising vote earlier in the year. Voting 7-2, however, the City Council has decided to try again, putting the referendum on the April 9th ballot. According to Aldermen Karen Schmidt and Jennifer McDade, residents have been calling to demand that the referendum be put back on the ballot. Voters are requesting that politics not get in the way of real savings.

The results are obvious to many in Bloomington, even though some council members and residents remain unconvinced. Normal also voted down the referendum last year at the same time as Bloomington. In November, Normal again put the referendum on the ballot and residents voted for aggregation. Negotiations ended recently for Normal, with the net outcome of a 0.04099 cents per kilowatt rate, landing a 27% savings against the current Ameren Illinois delivery rates for residents who did not opt out.

Philip Carr, the business development director for electric aggregation consulting firm Good Energy, said, “It’s about having a choice. If this thing is approved, you don’t have to do it. You can get out of it.” There is an opt out clause within the referendum, which grants the ability for residents who do not wish to take advantage of the lowered rates to remain with their current provider. He also noted that Good Energy would increase its educational campaign to help residents understand aggregation and to promote a positive result.

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

Source: Pantagraph.com


Champaign County Residents Lock in 25-30% Savings

Unincorporated Champaign County residents came out ahead as another successful contract negotiation comes to an end. Homefield Energy has won a 17 month contract to act as the electricity supplier to upwards of 15,000 households in Champaign County. This contract guarantees residents a 3.9999 cents per kilowatt rate for electricity. Other rates secured recently via electricity aggregation were: 4.15 in Champaign and 4.055 in Urbana. Ameren Illinois has a current rate of 5.6 cents per kilowatt.

This contract locks in a savings of approximately $20 per customer every month. Homefield has also agreed that, should Ameren’s delivery rate fall to less than this contract’s agreed upon rate, they will “price match” the rate offered by Ameren. Should this clause be exercised, Homefield will either match the rate offered by Ameren or send the customers back to Ameren. This clause gives peace of mind to residents who are hesitant to lock into a17 month term. “These are really low rates,” according to Deb Busey, Champagne County Administrator.

These rates are so low, in fact, that municipal aggregation consulting firm Good Energy expects an average of 25-30% savings per month per customer. These unbelievable rates are a “testimonial to buying in bulk,” declared Charles de Casteja, the managing partner at Good Energy.

Included within the rate is an option for 100 percent renewable electricity production. By including this option, the energy Champaign County residents use will either come from renewable energy sources like wind turbines, or will be paid for with renewable energy certificates purchased from “green” energy generators. This option was voted on by residents, and they agreed that they wanted to pursue green options.

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

Source: The News-Gazette


Metro East Communities to See Electricity Rate Savings

55 municipalities throughout central and southern Illinois are about to receive serious savings on their electric service do to a referendum that passed for electric aggregation this November. Municipalities within the aggregation will receive unique rates calculated from several factors, however all will receive significant savings.

Residents will find savings of 24.9 percent, 28.4 percent, 26.5 percent, 26.7 percent, and 28.4 percent in Edwardsville, Troy and Maryville, Madison, Granite City, and Pontoon Beach, respectively. These savings are determined by simply comparing the contracted rates in these municipalities with the standard Ameren Illinois rates. A major factor in the rate discrepancies is an all-renewable energy option. For instance, Edwardsville approved a fee of $1 per megawatt hour to receive all of their energy from renewable sources. Meanwhile, Maryville and Troy voted against the renewable option.

Municipalities who approve municipal aggregation band with one another to negotiate lower rates for residents on electricity. This time around, the municipalities tapped Good Energy, an aggregation consulting firm, to advise them throughout the process. Good Energy collected and reviewed the bids on December 11th and selected Homefield Energy, a Collinsville based subsidiary of Ameren, as the new electricity supplier for these municipalities.

Customers in these municipalities are opted in to the electric aggregation program automatically. To receive the discounted rate, they do not need to do anything. For those who would prefer to stay with Ameren, there is an option to opt out of the program. Opt out notices are scheduled to be sent in January explaining the process to opt out. Residents who do not opt out will see their service change in January. Savings are expected to start on March bills.

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

Source: STLToday.com


Normal Residents to See 27 Percent Drop in Electric Rate

Normal Residents, after a successful negotiation, have been guaranteed a $0.4099 per kilowatt-hour rate with Homefield Energy for electricity delivery. This is a 27 percent discount compared to the current rates from provider Ameren Illinois. This exceeded the rate savings of 20-25 percent for which City Manager Mark Peterson had been hoping.

These savings are from a referendum on the November 6th ballot which allows Normal residents to partake in electric aggregation, reversing the unsuccessful vote earlier this year. Electric aggregation allows municipalities to group their collective electricity needs in an effort to receive a discounted rate of delivery. This process has successfully reduced rates in many municipalities across Illinois, together with the 55 municipalities which made up this round.

Normal residents will see these savings in March. The contract is set to begin in February for a span of 17 months, and will have an instant impact on their bills. To receive the discounted rates, Normal residents do not need to do anything. They will, however, be offered the ability to opt out if they would like to maintain Ameren Illinois as their electric provider. Letters detailing how to opt out will be mailed between December 16th and January 6th.

Bloomington City and Mclean county, among other local municipalities, are debating putting a referendum on the ballot for municipal aggregation. Good Energy, a municipal aggregation consulting firm, has been contacted by these municipalities given the unbelievable savings seen in this round of negotiations. Bloomington will be evaluating a plan on December 17th and Mclean County will be evaluating a plan on December 18th. Bloomington voters voted this referendum down earlier this year, but local officials are hopeful residents will re-evaluate their choice should a second vote be granted.

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

Source: Pantagraph.com




 Charles de Casteja

(212) 691-9467/ (646) 286-6746


Residents plug into Savings


CENTRAL/SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (December 11, 2012) – More than 230,000 households in 18 central and southern Illinois counties can expect to see their electric bills drop by 25 percent or more, beginning in spring of 2013.

Bids returned Tuesday will provide residents a discount on the rates they pay for electricity, amounting to about $150 to $170 to each household annually. The process is a result of the municipal electric aggregation referenda approved by voters in November.

Good Energy was secured by the individual communities, including Normal, Decatur, Effingham, Charleston, Centralia, Edwardsville, Belleville, Granite City, O’Fallon – and more than 40 other communities, representing about 230,000 households – to seek bids on their behalf for electricity on the open market. Good Energy now represents about 520,000 households in Illinois.

"This likely is the largest residential purchasing group in the country and a testimonial to buying in bulk," says Good Energy Managing Partner Charles de Casteja. "Furthermore, the potential for greater purchasing power, extraordinary contract terms, and leveraged representation at the state level with all affiliated agencies, is a win-win for single customers in these Good Energy communities."

That means savings.

By bundling residential and small business electric consumers, Good Energy was able to achieve a substantial savings by purchasing energy supply from the open market. In sum, municipal aggregation creates bargaining power putting smaller energy consumers on equal footing with larger users and it stimulates competition.

Compared with the current Ameren rate of $0.054 kWh, the low bid received Tuesday means households will save between $150 and $170 per year on electricity, and many may save even more. Residents should expect to see the savings on their utility bills beginning in March. 

Good Energy selected Collinsville-based Homefield Energy as the low bidder after a competitive bid with five other leading alternative retail electric suppliers Tuesday. Homefield Energy will deliver electricity at a contract rates of $0.03909 per kilowatt hour (kWh) – $0.04099 cents – during the span of the 17 month contract. The high bid was $0.044 – 4.4 cents.

“Consumers are harnessing the benefits of deregulation in Illinois through referendum statewide that allow competitive bidding processes,” de Casteja said.

Good Energy originally had projected savings of between 20 to 25 percent compared to current rates. The actual savings based on Tuesday’s bids will be 25 to 30 percent – depending on usage. Communities also were able to select from a renewable energy provider.

A little more than half of the communities in the recent purchasing group chose to purchase 100 percent renewable electric production – all green.

Tuesday’s buying group joins nearly 300,000 Illinois households that already are seeing the benefits of collective buying power of between 25 and 33 percent, or about $20 per month.

The communities are as follows: Albers, Arcola, Ashmore, Bartonville, Beckemeyer, Belleville, Camargo, Centralia, Cerro Gordo, Charleston, City of Madison, City of Venice, unincorporated Champaign County, unincorporated Coles County, unincorporated Crawford County, Decatur, East Alton, Edwardsville, Effingham, Forsyth, Granite City, Hartford, Hopewell, Humboldt, Hutsonville, Jerseyville, Lerna, Lovington, Mahomet, Mason, Mattoon, Neoga, Normal, Oakland, Oblong, O'Fallon, Ogden, Olney, Palestine, Paris, Pittsfield, unincorporated Richland County, Robinson, Roxana, Salem, Savoy, South Roxana, Sparland, Teutopolis, Troy, Tuscola, Village of Hamel, Village of Maryville, Village of Pontoon Beach and Wood River.

More than $150 million over two years: That’s the amount of combined savings electric consumers statewide participating in Good Energy’s municipal electric aggregation groups will reap over a two-year span.

“Since the middle of June, citizens of the city of Peoria have been saving between 20 and 30 percent on their electricity bills,” says Chris Setti, Peoria’s Assistant City Manager. The City of Peoria in central Illinois was in the first buying group. “It’s a great opportunity for a public body to be able to offer this to our citizens and constituents and keep more wealth in the community. The electricity market is a very confusing place and we couldn’t have done this on our own.”

The Citizens Utility Board, a consumer watchdog/ advocacy group, says community electric aggregation is a good option to have.

Communities statewide first chose a consultant and approved a referendum to be placed on the ballot, followed by residents approving the referendum. The consultant and municipality then developed an aggregation plan of operation and governance, hosted public hearings for transparency, followed by the bidding process with suppliers. There still are opportunities for municipalities who did not join the first or second group to join Good Energy’s third round buying group for an April 2013 referendum.

What now?


  • Residents between Dec. 18 and Jan. 4 will receive two letters that will include the winning offer rate and percentage of savings with additional details for the program. Also at this time, residents can choose NOT to enroll (opt-out) with no penalty.   
  • If individuals decide to opt out after becoming part of the aggregate, they still can with a small termination fee.
  • Residents who do nothing automatically are enrolled and new electric supply rates will begin in early 2013.
  • Residents who opt out will return to the rates offered by the utility with no additional charges.


All residents and small commercial accounts will continue to receive one bill.


History of deregulation

With the passage of the Illinois Power Agency Act in Illinois in 2007, municipal electric aggregation became available. This allowed local authorities to negotiate electric power supply for smaller consumers.

In 2009, the governor signed a public act that allows communities the authority to bargain on behalf of their residents for cheaper electricity. The purpose of deregulating electricity markets was to increase competition, lower costs and give residents the power to choose. Governments and large business in Illinois already do this.


Good Energy is an energy management consultant firm that prepares, negotiates and purchases utility supply contracts for consumers and businesses in deregulated markets. It works in 22 deregulated states. For a complete list of Good Energy OPT-OUT Buying Group Municipalities visit: munienergychoice.com.       

For communities that passed the Electric Supply Proposition, what are the six things they can expect?

Now that your community has passed and accepted Municipal Aggregation, when can you expect your electric rates to drop?  Here is a list of the six things that will be happening.
  1. Your community will hold, or will have already held, two public hearings to approve the Operation of Plan and Governance, which details the way the program will operate. If you have any questions or wish to discuss with your municipal officials, we recommend you attend these hearings.
  2. Good Energy will send bids to electric suppliers for the 55 communities it represents. That is approximately 220,000 households!
  3. Closed Bids will be opened in the presence of community leaders on December 11, 2012.
  4. On December 11th, the municipal leaders from each participating community will decide  which supplier best meets the needs of the community with regard to price, the term of the contract, and whether or not the electricity supplied will be renewable (green), and/or have a percentage of renewable electricity included.
  5. Between December 18, 2012 and January 4, 2013 residents will receive two letters from their municipality which will include the winning offer rate and the approximate percentage of savings as compared to default rates offered by Ameren. Compare this rate to your current Ameren rate and you can see the savings! In the unlikely event that the resident does not wish to participate, the resident must send one of the two letters back indicating that they do not wish to enroll. There is no penalty for not enrolling. 
  6. New electric supply rates will begin in January or February (dependent on your meter read date on your Ameren bill) and will be reflected on following month's Ameren bills.
It's that simple! Just sit back and relax, there's nothing to do. Enrolled residents will continue to receive the same quality service from Ameren and only one bill from Ameren. Your savings are on the way!


From GoodEnergy.com: Granite City voted to reduce their electric costs on November 6th, and is now looking at renewable energy even though it is a slightly costlier option 

At the November 20th Granite City Council meeting, Good Energy’s Philip Carr explained that now that Granite City approved Municipal Aggregation, they will be receiving the best price for electricity in the market. Further, for just a tiny percent more, the community could choose 100% renewable energy from sources such as wind turbines.

Source: GoodEnergy.com



From GoodEnergy.com: Jerseyville, IL passed the Electric Supply Proposition. Good Energy explains what happens next

At the November 27th Jerseyville public hearing, Good Energy explained what the next steps will be now that Municipal Aggregation has been approved.  Bidding will occur December 11th for all the municipalities Good Energy represents that passed the proposition.  Good Energy also warned residents that there are clever marketers that are now trying to take advantage of people's confusion of the subject. These marketers misrepresent themselves as being part of the program and are in actuality, a scam. Residents do not have to do anything if they wish to be part of the program, and they will not receive a phone call stating they have to.
Source: GoodEnergy.com



From GoodEnergy.com: For Urbana residents, the savings are greater than $500,000!

10,000 to 12,000 households and small business customers who have been a part of the Municipal Aggregation plan have saved an average $15.14 each month. Over the first three months of the plan this equates to over $500,000 in savings for the community. This is because their electric supply rates dropped from 6.16 cents per kilowatt hour to 4.05 cents.
Good Energy is pleased to have so successfully helped!

Source: GoodEnergy.com



55 Good Energy Communities passed the Municipal Electricity Aggregation Proposition. Check to see if your community voted YES!

We are pleased to announce that 55 communities that are working with Good Energy, over 200,000 residents, passed the Municipal Electricity Aggregation proposition on November 6th, 2012.  

The 55 communities who will now have the option to save money are:





Granite City




















Cerro Gordo





South Roxana




City of Madison



City of Venice








Village of Hamel



Village of Maryville

East Alton


Village of Pontoon Beach



Wood River




Congratulations to all of you!

In the coming weeks, each community will be hosting a public meeting to discuss the Plan of Operation and Governance.  This is the document which details how the program will proceed - it is your chance to ask questions.  Please check your local papers and/or your local government's website for details.

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