Due diligence snags savings in Elburn

By on December 28, 2012

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—As the year in Elburn winds up, Village President Dave Anderson on Dec. 17 took time out to congratulate members of the Village Board and staff on recent savings realized.

According to Anderson, due diligence on the part of Village Administrator Erin Willrett and Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven enabled the village to obtain a secondary power source for the Waste Water Treatment Plant control building from Commonwealth Edison for $128,000, a savings of $422,000 over a previous estimate of $550,000 from another vendor.

Police Chief Steve Smith reported on money received from the local DUI Task Force to purchase a new breathalyzer in the amount of $6,500. In addition, the task force reimbursed the village $426 to cover overtime pay for officers who worked the “Black Wednesday” detail the night before Thanksgiving.

Perhaps the largest savings, on an ongoing basis, stemmed from the decision to negotiate a reduction in the village’s electric rates based on an aggregated usage amount.

According to a memo to the village from electric aggregation broker NIMEC Executive Director Dave Hoover, Elburn was one of the first communities to initiate an aggregation saving program in the spring of 2011—at least a year before nearly all the other programs. Of the 20 communities that did lock in rates in 2011, most obtained higher multi-year rates. Elburn instead chose an initial 12-month term.

When the village negotiated another contract a year later, the rates were even lower than the previous year’s. The village was then able to lock in a 24-month contract at 4.72 cents, down from a rate of 5.79 cents, for a savings of 20 percent.

“When you can get 20 percent savings on anything, that’s a good thing,” Anderson said. “My hat’s off to the board and to Erin Willrett (for these decisions).”