If you live in unincorporated Kane County, you can expect to save a little money on your electric bills, as Kane County renews its successful electric aggregation program.
Residents and small businesses in unincorporated Kane County should look for letters to arrive late this week or early next week regarding the Kane County Electric Aggregation Program. The program’s present contract with Dynegy Energy, LLC that began back in August 2015 will come to an end in August 2017.
During the past couple months, Kane County government went through the process of seeking bids from electric suppliers for the next phase of the program. A new supplier, Constellation NewEnergy, Inc., was selected in May, and a 12-month contract will go into effect in August.
Customers will receive a fixed electric supply rate of 7.08 cents/kWh under the new contract, which will be slightly lower than Commonwealth Edison’s Price to Compare — which is presently 6.892 cents/kWh for June-September 2017, but will increase to 7.151 cents/kWh after September.
Customers of Kane County’s program also have the option of selecting a rate of 7.16 cents/kWh for 100 percent renewable energy for the same 12-month term.
The main goal of Kane County’s Electric Aggregation Program is to secure a lower electric supply rate for residents and small businesses in unincorporated Kane County.
“Even though the new rate for the program won’t be as low as it was for the last two years, the program will still provide a small savings for customers,” said Ken Anderson, director of the Kane County Division of Environmental Resources. “Luckily, the current program rate – which is one of the lowest in all of northern Illinois – will continue through August, during the hot summer months when customers are likely using more electricity.”
“The increase in Kane County’s Electric Aggregation Program rate and in ComEd’s Price to Compare is reflective of across-the-board hikes in electricity costs due to rising demand charges and other changes in the larger electric market in Illinois,” explained Sharon Durling from the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative, Kane County’s consultant for the electric aggregation program.
“However, municipal aggregation programs as a whole help keep electric supply rates low through competition. Kane County’s continuation of the aggregation program is also smart because it maintains a seamless transition for customers, rather than having them drop out of the program to return to ComEd’s electric supply for now and then perhaps re-start with a new program next year.”
What Happens Next for the Electric Aggregation Customers?
Residents and small businesses in unincorporated Kane County will receive program information via a letter from Constellation NewEnergy in mid-June. If customers do NOT want to participate in the program, they will have until July 6 to opt out. Opting out of the program will be easier for this next round of the program, since there will now be a website option in addition to the mail-in opt out form and the customer service phone number.
For customers who choose to be part of the program — which will likely be between 10,000 and 12,000 households and small businesses — they will not need to do anything to be automatically enrolled, and the new electric supply rate will go into effect after their August 2017 billing cycle.
Residents already receiving supply from an alternative supplier will receive a different letter that will inform them of how to opt in to Kane County’s program, but those ratepayers should make sure to review their existing contracts carefully for potential penalties and fees.