Cary sets up three-year electric aggregation contract

CARY – Electricity rates in town are going to increase in November, but are expected to be lower than the ComEd rates.

Cary Village Board members Tuesday decided to go with Constellation Energy as the town's energy provider for the next three years.

Constellation rates will be 7.4 cents per kilowatt-hour during the 36 months of the contract, said David Hoover, executive director of the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative, which serves as the village's electricity consultant.

The village had a rate of 4.99 cents per kwh for two years through FirstEnergy Solutions. That contract expires in November.

ComEd's rate through September is set at 7.596 cents per kwh. In October, ComEd's rates are estimated to go to 7.42 cents per kwh.

There also is a purchased electricity adjustment added onto ComEd's rates, Hoover said. In the past 39 months, the adjustment has averaged 0.26 cents per kwh.

Dynegy and Verde also gave proposals to the village.

The village's deal with FirstEnergy did include a provision for 100 percent renewable energy. Even though Constellation didn't offer a 100 percent renewable option, it used the least amount of coal as a power source among the three bidders, according to village documents.

During the current contract, the average savings per household in Cary has been $333, according to Hoover. He estimated the average household will reach $400 in savings over the two years of the aggregation contract.

In March 2012, residents approved having the village run a municipal aggregation program.

As electricity rates for communities that aggregate increase, they have been coming closer to the ComEd rates creating a smaller savings margin. Some communities with aggregation programs have opted to go back with ComEd's electricity supplies.

Hoover said electricity costs have gone up because the economy has improved, which leads to higher demand for power. There also have been higher regulation costs, Hoover said.

Hoover said residents will still have the choice of whether to opt out of the program.

In other items, a group of residents opposed to the proposed $450 million power plant in Oakwood Hills came to the Cary Village Board to ask for its opposition against the plant.

The residents, most of whom wore red shirts during the meeting, had concerns about the amount of water that would be used by the plant and how close the plant would be to a residential area.

Joe Morton said the plant would be close to a school.

“That’s just horrible in every way possible,” Morton said.

Village President Mark Kownick said village staff is working on gathering information on the proposed plant.

Retirement recognition

Village Board members on Tuesday recognized the retirement of Deputy Police Chief Mike Roth, whose last day with the department was Friday.

Roth had been with the department since 1985. He served as a sergeant and as interim police chief.

In a village memo, Police Chief Patrick Finlon said Roth's strength has been his public interaction, which included work with Shop with a Cop and the Illinois Special Olympics.

"He has cultivated relationships with members of the community that have improved the perception of the police department," Finlon wrote. "One would be hard pressed to find a member of the community that hasn't interacted with or heard of Mike Roth. This type of effort is the very essence of community-oriented policing."

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