Tonight will see the final public hearing before the Village Board votes on a plan to bid for cheaper electric rates.
On March 20, Montgomery voters in both Kane and Kendall counties said yes to municipal electric aggregation – essentially, letting village leaders seek out cheaper electric rates for virtually everyone in town.
Before they can move forward with a plan to do just that, though, the village is bound by law to hold a pair of public hearings, and listen to what you have to say about the matter. They held the first on Wednesday of last week during the Committee of the Whole meeting.
The second will occur during tonight's Village Board meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at .
The idea, according to Acting Village Administrator Jeff Zoephel, is to gather feedback on the aggregation plan, which is available on the village website. (If you prefer a hard copy, they have those at Village Hall as well.) Zoephel will go over the plan at next Wednesday’s meeting, including timelines for bidding.
Montomery will work with the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative, a group of 140 government entities, in the search for a cheaper electricity provider. If they find a better rate through another company, like Constellation or BlueStar, the village will sign a deal with that company, and you’ll see a reduction on your bill.
If ComEd still has the cheapest rate, Montgomery will stick with them. Either way, ComEd will continue to handle the billing, so the only difference residents should see is a reduction on their bill, Zoephel said.
Electric aggregation is possible due to a new state law that lets municipalities bid for cheaper electric rates for homes and small businesses within its boundaries. Montgomery put the idea up for a vote, and voters approved the referendum, which means that every home and every business in the 0-100kw range will be included.
That is to say, homes and businesses will be automatically included, unless you’ve already signed a separate contract with another electric provider. You’ll have the option to opt out and stick with ComEd, and whichever new provider the village goes with will send you a form to fill out for that. (You can see a draft of that letter on the village website.)
According to the draft of the aggregation plan, you’ll be able to opt out of the program at least once every three years. Dozens of Illinois municipalities passed electric aggregation referendums in March, and they’re all going through the same process.
But it’s been shown to work – 19 local municipalities passed a similar referendum last April. Most recently, the village of Darien, working with NIMEC, with Pittsburgh-based Direct Energy, for a rate of 4.54 cents per kilowatt-hour. ComEd's current rate is 7.73 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Tonight’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, 200 N. River St., and is free and open to the public. For more on electric aggregation, read , written before the election.