Algonquin green-lights electrical aggregation vote

ALGONQUIN – The village will take another shot at starting a municipal electrical aggregation program.
Village Board members Tuesday formally approved placing an electrical aggregation referendum on the March 2014 ballot.

In March 2012, an electrical aggregation referendum in the village failed by nine votes, keeping the village from joining the other 600 communities around the state who had started their own programs.

Nearby communities such as Cary, Crystal Lake, Huntley, Barrington and East Dundee already use electric aggregation.

Electrical aggregation allows local governments to negotiate lower electricity rates for their residential and small business customers. With increased bargaining power, the village would be able to secure lower rates for residents from an electrical supplier.

In communities where energy aggregation programs are in place, residents are billed for electricity through ComEd and use ComEd-owned grids, but the electricity flowing into each home and small business could come from a different source. ComEd distributes the electricity, maintains the infrastructure, responds to calls during power outages and sends out electric bills.     

According to village documents, electrical prices have decreased for both ComEd and alternate retail electric suppliers since electrical aggregation began.

“The other communities that did take advantage of it, their rates went down,” Trustee Robert Smith said. “We’re looking at it as a way to hopefully lower the rates of ... our residents.”

In other action

The Village Board on Tuesday approved its property tax levy for next year’s real estate tax bills.

The levy of $5.48 million is the same amount the board approved for this year’s tax bills.

For this year’s bills, the tax rate was $0.618 per $100 of equalized assessed property value. In previous meetings, the village estimated the tax rate would increase to $0.677 per $100 of EAV. The final property tax rate won’t be determined until property values are set in the spring.

The village estimated that property values will decline by 8.7 percent. The estimate includes reassessments of existing residential and commercial property and a limited amount of new growth.

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