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Village Gets Green Light to Shop for Power

Seventy-eight percent of Hinsdale voters say yes to electrical aggregation.

Hinsdale residents favored a proposal to allow the village to shop for electrical power on their behalf, by a wide margin of 2,555 to 727.

Approval of the March 20 referendum means the village will be able to negotiate for electrical power with suppliers on behalf of residential customers and small retail customers, without asking each customer individually. If the bids the village receives are not lower than the rate charged by ComEd's supplier, the village can stick with the status quo.

According to the village's explanation of the proposal on its website, residential and small commercial customers will still be able to opt out of the new arrangement.

Following passage of the referendum, the village is required to hold two public hearings before adopting a "Plan of Operation and Governance." The village does not expect the new program to be in effect before late summer or fall, at the earliest.

Customers who wouldn't automatically be included are those who have entered into an individual contract with a power supplier, and those who use electricity for heating.

ComEd would continue to distribute power along its grid, sending out one bill to customers and responding to outages.

A change in state law in 2009 allows for municipal electrical aggregation. According to Crain's Chicago Business, more than 200 communities in Northern Illinois had the question on the March 20 ballot.

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