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Electric aggregation goes back on ballots

Voters in Algonquin again face question on rate negotiation

Published: Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 12:09 a.m. CST

ALGONQUIN – After failing by a slim margin last year, village officials will again pose a referendum question that would allow them to negotiate lower electricity rates for Algonquin residents.

The Algonquin Village Board in a committee meeting earlier this week unanimously agreed to put the electric aggregation referendum on the March 18 primary ballot. Members will take a final vote on the measure during a meeting Tuesday, where it is expected to pass.

“The board feels this will be very beneficial to the community,” said Michael Kumbera, assistant to the village manager. “It’s an opportunity for savings to both residents and small businesses.”

Algonquin voters rejected the electric aggregation referendum in March 2012 by a mere nine votes. The move prevented the village from joining the more than 600 communities in Illinois that already use electric aggregation.

The measure allows local governments to negotiate lower electricity rates for its residents. With increased bargaining power, the village would be able to secure lower rates for residents from an electrical supplier.

ComEd would still deliver and provide service to the residents under the program.

Residents could also choose to opt out of the program, if they so desired.

Similar opt-out aggregation programs have generated as much as 24 percent savings on electricity, according to village figures. A customer using 1,000 kWh a month would save between $55 to $150 annually.

Nearby communities like Cary, Crystal Lake, Huntley, Barrington, Hoffmann Estates and East Dundee already use electric aggregation.

Algonquin officials plan to educate voters about the program through its website and community-wide emails in the months leading up to the March election, Kumbera said.

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