Election 2012: MP residents learn about upcoming referendum
Voters may allow village to seek bids to lower electricity rates
by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—At a special informational presentation on Tuesday night for the residents of Maple Park, the village brought in Bill McMahon of the Progressive Energy Group, who spoke regarding the upcoming referendum for Municipal Energy Aggregation.
“Illinois has deregulated the energy markets,” McMahon said, “Because of that, competing companies can offer electric power. Municipalities can aggregate, and leverage the residents’ electrical accounts to seek bids for lower rates.”
For Maple Park residents, the first step to do this would be to pass a referendum in the Tuesday, March 20 election.
“The residents are given the chance to vote to allow municipal aggregation,” McMahon said. “19 out of 23 times, these referendums have passed.”
If the referendum is passed, and Maple Park decides to move forward with energy aggregation, Progressive Energy will take competitive bids from energy companies and broker the deal.
Currently, CommonWealth Edison (ComEd) Commercial rates are at $0.078, while municipalities that are aggregated are significantly less.
“In Elburn and Sugar Grove, the current aggregated price is $0.059, North Aurora is at $0.057,” McMahon said, “It is estimated that there could be an annual savings of $175 to $225 per household in Maple Park.”
Should the referendum pass, the way residents receive their power will change minimally.
“Residents would continue to get a bill from ComEd, because they are still legally required to deliver power,” McMahon said. “The change is they are no longer supplying it.”
Because of this, residents will still contact ComEd if there is any problem, such as an outage or a downed power line.
“Residents would have the option to remain with ComEd as their supplier,” McMahon said. “They would be contacted twice to have the ability to opt-out.”
For more information regarding municipal energy aggregation, the Illinois Municipal Aggregation of Electric has an informational website, www.electricaggregation.org.
“By voting ‘yes’ on the March 20 ballot, residents have the change to join 19 other villages in Illinois that have already reduced their ComEd bills by 15 percent,” McMahon said.