Fox River Grove goes back to ComEd

FOX RIVER GROVE – Residents and small businesses who are participating in the village's electrical aggregation program again will be receiving electricity from ComEd.

Fox River Grove voters approved an electrical aggregation program in April 2011, which allowed the village to obtain electricity rates cheaper than what ComEd offered.

The village was one of the first 20 municipalities in the state to adopt electric aggregation programs, which led to about $650,000 in savings for residential and small business customers, according to a village news release.

Village Administrator Karl Warwick said customers saved on average of about $15 a month on their electric bills because of the program.

With its agreement with Direct Energy set to expire in September, the village recently rebid its electrical aggregation contract, asking for one-, two-, and three-year proposals.

Four out of the five providers who submitted proposals had rates higher than ComEd. One provider was lower, but only offered an eight-month contract, which would have put the village at a disadvantage when ComEd next adjusted its rates, Warwick said.

Because of the bid results, residents and small business electricity customers will again receive electricity from ComEd beginning in September, the village said.

In the interim, customers will probably be paying about $1 or $2 more a month than they would if they were receiving ComEd electricity, Warwick said.

Residents and small businesses who did not opt out of the electrical aggregation program received power from Direct Energy at 5.99 cents per kilowatt hour.

According to the Illinois Commerce Commission's website pluginillinois.org, ComEd's rate for the summer is 5.511 cents per kilowatt hour. For October 2013 through May 2014, the rate is expected to be 5.473 cents per kilowatt hour.

"Fortunately, ComEd has been able to lower their electricity rates by nearly 40 percent over the past year," said Village President Robert Nunamaker. "This reduction however does not give villages much opportunity to provide further cost savings."

There will be no fees to convert, the village said in a news release.

After the conversion back to ComEd, residents and small businesses will have two months to switch to another electricity provider if they wish, the news release said. After that period, accounts must remain with ComEd until September of 2014.

Every May, ComEd announces its new rates, which take effect in June. So the next time the village will have another opportunity to request bids for electricity supply for residents and small businesses would be in a year.

Warwick said having a different electricity provider might be viable next year, but it depends on ComEd's rates.

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