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Cary to seek bids for electric supply

CARY – Village staff plans to go out for bid on its next contract for Cary's municipal aggregation electricity supply.

Bidding for energy supply is expected to take place in August or September.

Cary's contract with FirstEnergy Solutions expires in November.

About 6,700 households in the village are part of the program.

The village's current electricity supply rate is 4.99 cents per kilowatt-hour.

By the end of the two years of the program, the village estimates the aggregation program will save the average homeowner about $350 on his electricity bill.

Communitywide, there will be about $1.75 million in savings, said David Hoover, the executive director of the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative, which is helping the village through the electricity supply process.

ComEd's rate from June 2014 through May 2015 is 7.8 cents per kwh.

According to NIMEC, aggregation pricing has ranged from 7.5 cents to 8.5 cents.

"The bad news is, rates are going up," Hoover said.

Results for other communities have varied. Some communities have chosen not to renew because they would have received little or no savings compared to ComEd's rates. Other communities have continued their programs with rates at or around ComEd's rates, according to village documents.

After Fox River Grove rebid its electric rates last year, it decided to go back with ComEd because there would be no savings as most of the suppliers who put in a bid had a price higher than ComEd (one supplier did have a lower rate, but only provided an eight-month contract).

The Northern Illinois Governmental Electric Aggregation Consortium, which includes Algonquin, Huntley, Lakewood, Ringwood and Woodstock, as well as Genoa, has a rate with Direct Energy of 7.2 cents per kwh that will start in August.

The consortium's current rate, which ends this month, is 4.9867 cents per kwh.

Crystal Lake recently agreed to a three-year deal with Homefield Energy. The rate for the first two years was set at 7.2 cents per kwh. The third year of its contract will be 6.4 cents per kwh.

With Cary choosing to rebid its electricity supply services, the village could receive several pricing options with and without green energy options. Going without green energy would be cheaper for residents.

When the Village Board entered into its current contract in 2012, it opted to go with 100 percent renewable energy.

If the bids are determined to be higher than desirable, the village can reject the proposals, which would redirect residents back to ComEd. If the rates are favorable, the village could consider locking in a multiyear program, according to village documents.

"This scenario would provide the most flexibility as there is always the option to opt-out of the aggregation program by choice and stay with ComEd or any other third party electric service supply provider that they choose to select," according to a village memo.

What's next

Village staff, with help from the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative, in August or September are set to go out for bid from electricity suppliers for the village's municipal electrical aggregation program.

The current contract with FirstEnergy Solutions expires in November.

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