Voters to decide whether to bid for cheaper power rates

By on March 25, 2011

by Sandy Kaczmarski
Sugar Grove—Sugar Grove voters will be asked whether to allow the village to negotiate power supply rates on their behalf in a referendum on the ballot April 5.

“It’s a good opportunity to save some money,” Mayor Sean Michels said.

Residents now can opt out of using ComEd, but Michels said few people have taken advantage of the option. He said negotiating power on behalf of residential and small commercial retail customers could save as much as 15 percent on electric bills.

The state passed a law allowing cities and villages to bid for cheaper energy supplies on behalf of residents. Sugar Grove residents are receiving electricity at a fixed rate from ComEd.

If approved, residents would still receive electricity from ComEd, and also continue to benefit from ComEd’s customer service, including outage response, while paying less through competitive rates negotiated by the village.

The referendum on the ballot reads: “Shall the Village of Sugar Grove have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such a program?”

The village has been purchasing power in this manner for the last four years for water pumping and street lighting, which is delivered by ComEd.