Electrical Aggregation Proceeds in Orland Park

Electrical Aggregation Proceeds in Orland Park
Posted on 04/02/2012

On Tuesday, March 20, Village of Orland Park voters approved the electrical aggregation referendum by more than 65%, giving the village permission to seek lower electricity supply rates for its residents and small businesses through an opt-out electricity aggregation program.

"Orland Park continues to play a leadership role in helping its residents and businesses conserve energy and save money," said Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin. "We took the savings message to the public and our residents resoundingly approved electrical aggregation for the village," the mayor added.

A January 1, 2010 state law allowed municipalities to aggregate and transfer their residents' and small commercial retail customers' electric accounts to alternative electric suppliers. Electrical power would be produced by a company other than ComEd with ComEd continuing to supply electricity to residents over ComEd's electricity grid. ComEd customers who are part of the group purchasing will continue to be billed by ComEd and will continue to contact ComEd with service needs.

Residents will receive notification from the Village of Orland Park once the required steps for electrical aggregation are completed and a vendor is chosen.

"We're getting calls from residents who are being contacted directly by electricity vendors," McLaughlin said. "These vendors are not affiliated with the village and we encourage residents to wait until we complete the post referendum steps necessary to choose a vendor for the village," the mayor cautioned.

"It's all about the savings," said Trustee James Dodge, who chairs the village's Information, Technology and Community Engagement Committee. "In 2011, nineteen Illinois towns passed referenda and they're now paying rates below ComEd's current residential rate of 7.73 cents per kWh," Dodge noted. "In 2012, Orland Park was one of 300 municipalities that brought electrical aggregation to its voters," he said.

"When a community enters negotiations by pooling together its entire electricity load, suppliers will offer lower rates. Buying in bulk enables the village to secure the savings for its residents," McLaughlin explained.

The Village of Orland Park is working NIMEC, the Northern Illinois Municipal Electrical Collaborative. "NIMEC has been a leader in negotiating rates for sixteen of the nineteen communities that have approved electrical aggregation before Orland Park," explained Village Manager Paul Grimes.

Now that the referendum has been approved, the village will develop and adopt a plan of operation and governance for its Electricity Aggregation Program. Public input will be welcomed at two public hearings on Monday, April 2 and Monday, April 16, at 7:00 p.m. at the Frederick T. Owens Village Hall, 14700 South Ravinia Avenue.

"Once the two public hearings have been held, an ordinance will be presented to allow the village to negotiate electrical rates," Grimes said.

"Any resident who doesn't want to participate in the electrical aggregation program will have the opportunity to opt-out, thereby continuing to purchase power from ComEd," McLaughlin said. "We want our residents to be comfortable and not obligated to participate in the program if they so choose," McLaughlin added.

More information will be made available to the public throughout the process. Further information on electrical aggregation can be found on the village's website at www.orland-park.il.us or by calling the village's Office of Public Information at 708-403-6150.