Lake Villa officials look at electric rate options
By Diana Kuyper Special to The News-Sun December 20, 2011 8:18PM
Updated: January 22, 2012 8:12AM
Lake Villa is jumping on the electric aggregation referendum bandwagon, with village officials agreeing to ask voters on the Spring ballot to authorize them to negotiate on their behalf a lower price for electricity.
Following deregulation, municipal electric aggregation uses economies of scale to help reduce electric rates, much like the benefit of buying any product in bulk, for residential and small business electric usage.
“We are still researching it,” said Mayor Frank Loffredo of the potential to save residents and small business owners 20 to 30 percent on their current ComEd rates by negotiating a lower rate with another supplier of electricity. “We are also exploring the idea of forming a consortium with our neighboring communities to increase our buying power.”
Loffredo said the village is also looking at the option of hiring a broker, but the savings would be greater if a group or individual municipality negotiated a contract on their own.
Between now and the March 20 primary election, Lake Villa officials will research its best options to save their residents and businesses as much money as they can if the “opt out” referendum is approved.
“It is a service we can provide to our residents,” said Loffredo. “There is no financial benefit to the municipality; it is strictly something we can do on behalf of our residents to get them a cost savings, just like we negotiate for village-wide garbage pickup. We are trying to stretch everyone’s dollar.”
Unlike refuse service, residents can opt out or contract on their own for the purchase of electricity from another electric supplier other than ComEd, said Loffredo, who has talked with ComEd officials about aggregation. “They seem very amenable to the idea. They seem willing to step away from their exclusive role as electricity producers.”
ComEd will continue to deliver the electricity through its lines and residents and businesses will continue to receive only one utility bill.