Electric Aggregation Likely to Save You Money (That's for Non-City Folk)

Electric Aggregation Likely to Save You Money (That’s for Non-City Folk)

I’m not going to even pretend to understand all the economic analysis and electric-industry jargon that was patiently explained to Kane County residents at the public hearing on electric aggregation held at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Kane County Government Center.

But I will tell you this, and Environmental and Water Resources Director Ken Anderson can correct me if I’m wrong. The chances are, if you live or own a small business outside municipal borders anywhere in Kane County, this whole electric aggregation thing probably is going to save you some money.

How much that will be — whether it’s $1 a month or $100 a month — will depend on a lot of factors, including things like the electricity market and “capacity price” and just plain how much electricity you use each year, but the bottom line is, you’ll probably get a better deal in the end. Obviously, small-business owners and residents with larger homes are going to save more than a resident with a smaller home who needs fewer amps or kilowatts, or whatever the proper term might be.

“The more people can exercise choice, the more value there will be in the market,” said Anthony M. Star, acting director of the Illinois Power Agency, during a presentation at the public hearing.

Basically, the deal is that Kane County — thanks to a referendum that voters passed in March — has the ability now to shop around for the best wholesale power deals. There are about 12 distributors to choose from, and the county can take advantage of a 12-month, 24-month or 36-month contract.

Anderson said after the meeting that the county probably would dip its toe into the pool with a 12-month contract, but that decision is pending and will be based on the best deal available when the county goes shopping.

County residents — again, that’s folks who live in unincorporated Kane County — will be mailed information about what the aggregation program means and how to opt out, if you so desire.

Commonwealth Edison will continue to maintain the system that delivers power to your home — no new poles or wires will be built — and you’ll continue to get a single, easy-to-read bill from your local electric utility. There is no cost for enrollment, and you won’t be charged a switching fee.

A second public hearing on the electric aggregation plan of operation and governance is set for 7 p.m. today (Wednesday, June 25, 2014) at Fisherman’s Inn in Elburn.

Only one person spoke at Tuesday’s public hearing. The Kane County Chronicle identified the speaker as Mary Naas of Mill Creek, who had some questions about the purchasing process.