Electric Aggregation Referendum OK'd by Clarendon Hills Board
The referendum will appear on the November General Election ballot and, if passed, would allow the village to negotiate with alternative suppliers as a whole.
Clarendon Hills voters will indeed have another referendum to vote on this fall when they head to the polls.
The Clarendon Hills Village Board on Monday night unanimously approved the placement of a binding question regarding electric aggregation on the November General Election ballot that will determine the ability of the village to seek lower rates from alternative suppliers.
The exact wording of the referendum, according to agenda documents, will be: “Shall the Village of Clarendon Hills have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?”
Trustee Allan Alongi, the board’s administrative/legislative chair, said, “If that [referendum] comes in positive, it makes it possible to begin bargaining for electrical aggregation.”
The aggregation program the village is pursuing would be an “opt-out” program, whereby all residents will get the collective rate negotiated by the village unless they tell the village that they do not want to be included.
ComEd would still be in charge of the electric infrastructure and billing in Clarendon Hills if the referendum passed, but the electricity itself would be coming from an alternative supplier.
Village manager Randy Recklaus said municipalities all over the state are adopting aggregation programs in order to bargain with suppliers as one unit and best the ComEd rate, which he said is a rolling average of the last three years' rates.
“If you don’t do it, you’re probably going to be left behind,” Recklaus said about aggregation, quoting people he's talked to in the electric industry.
An opt-out electric aggregation referendum in Hinsdale got the overwhelming support of that village’s residents on the March General Primary ballot. More than 80 percent of voters supported it.
The Village of Hinsdale hired Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative (NIMEC) to be its consultant and its Board of Trustees ended up approving a three-year agreement with Nordic Energy Services that featured a rate that was 40 percent lower than the ComEd rate at the time.
The Nordic rate approved by Hinsdale trustees was 4.62 cents per kilowatt-hour, about 3 cents lower than the ComEd rate of 7.73 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The Village of Clarendon Hills is currently seeking interested resident volunteers to serve on an electric aggregation advisory committee. Recklaus said four residents have expressed interest so far, including two who have professional backgrounds in the electricity supply industry.
Those interested in joining the committee, which Recklaus hopes will include five to 10 residents, can email the village manager at email@example.com.
The committee would have input on which consultant the village selects, as well as on the bidding process and alternative supplier selection after the referendum, should it pass.