Municipal Aggregation
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What is municipal aggregation of electricity?

Aggregation in general refers to many customers joining together to form a buying group. Municipal aggregation refers specifically to the situation where a municipality organizes the pooling of its citizens to become the buying group. The municipality then seeks out offers on behalf of its constituents to get better pricing, terms and services than would be available to an individual.  Similar to garbage collection contracts, the municipality will have the authority to negotiate on behalf of its entire community.

Why is this possible?

The State of Illinois amended the deregulation legislation allowing municipalities to aggregate their residential and small business.  Through deregulation, municipalities can seek competitive bids for the energy and move to other suppliers if their pricing is more attractive. ComEd is no longer the only company that supplies electricity, but everyone continues to use ComEd to deliver the power, even if it is purchased by other suppliers.

How does municipal aggregation work?

Municipal electric aggregation allows the municipality, in this case the City of Sycamore, to organize its residents to serve as a buying group to procure electrical energy at a reduced cost when compared to the prevailing rate.  A referendum was approved in March to allow the City to proceed with Municipal electric aggregation. 

 Is every resident and small business required to participate?

Residents and small businesses can opt-out of the program if they do not wish to participate.  Initially, every resident and small business will automatically be included in the aggregation program, unless the resident or small business has already entered an individual contract with an energy supplier.  In order to bid, suppliers must be certified by the Illinois Commerce Commission.

 Which supplier has won the City’s aggregation?

The City has entered into an agreement with First Energy. 

What is the rate per kilowatt hour?

The rate per kilowatt hour from First Energy will be 4.81 cents.  When compared to over 8 cents per kilowatt hour through Commonwealth Edison, customers can expect see a savings of over 43% on the power portion of the electric bill.  (Note**Residents with a special rate for electric space heat will save much less than those with standard accounts**).

How long is the rate guaranteed for?

The rate will be locked in for two years, unless the rate offered through Commonwealth Edison is less than 4.81 cents kW/h.  The City negotiated a price guarantee, meaning if ComEd’s rate drops below the stated rate First Energy will match or move the aggregated accounts back to ComEd.

When will the potential savings begin?

The savings is likely to be reflected on the September bill.

How much will I save?

Please visit www.mycomedbill.com and use the online calculator to find out what your savings will be.

How will this affect ComEd?

ComEd will continue to bill you.  ComEd will continue to respond to power outages.

How Do I Enroll?

You do not have to do anything to enroll. All eligible residents and small businesses will be automatically included in the program unless they choose to "opt-out". A letter will be sent in the next few weeks with details of the price and terms prior to any enrollment. If you do not respond to the letter sent to you, Commonwealth Edison will complete the enrollment process. However, if you do not want to enroll in the program, you have until a specific date, to opt-out.

Will I get two bills?

No, you will continue to get one bill from ComEd. You will continue to send your monthly payment to ComEd.

Will the aggregation program affect the reliability of ComEd service?

No.  The aggregation program will have no impact upon the reliability of service you receive from ComEd.

Will I still be a ComEd customer?

Yes.  ComEd still provides the distribution of electricity and will still be responsible for delivery services: reading meters, maintaining equipment, responding to outages, etc.

Will the monthly bill look different?

No, Commonwealth Edison will continue to be responsible for delivering the power, reading meters, responding to outages, etc.   The monthly bill will look the same with the exception that the energy component will be reduced as a result of municipal aggregation.  ComEd’s delivery charges will be the same whether the power comes from ComEd or an alternative supplier. 

What if I have already selected another electric supplier?

If you have already signed up for another power supplier on your own, you will not be included in the aggregation program.  You may, however, opt-out of your current program and then join the City’s program.  You should first determine if your current supplier would charge an early termination fee to move.

If I heat my home with electricity, will I be included in the aggregation program?

 

Yes.  ComEd provides a subsidized rate for homes and businesses with electric heat however prices through First Energy offer a savings when compared to the subsidized rate.  For more information on electric heat, visit: www.pluginillinois.org, and click on “Utility Space Heating Rate”.

 

Additional Resources

Public Act 096-0176:  Amendment to Illinois Power Agency Act (PDF)

Plug In Illinois by the Illinois Commerce Commission

Citizens Utility Board

List of Communities with Opt-Out Municipal Aggregation Program

Chicago Tribune article about municipal aggregation

For additional information regarding municipal aggregation, call 1-800-856-3404.


308 W. State Street  • Sycamore, Illinois 60178
Phone: 815-895-4515 • Fax: 815-899-2054

www.cityofsycamore.com