Municipal Electricity Aggregation
Illinois law allows a municipality to seek bids for the provision of aggregate electricity supply services to residential and small commercial customers, in hopes that the selected rate will be lower than the standard rate offered by ComEd. In an effort to maximize the amount of savings for customers, the communities of Deerfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Northbrook, Park Ridge and Skokie worked together through an Intergovernmental Agreement and created the North Shore Electric Aggregation Consortium.
As required by State law, the municipalities advanced to referendum and on March 20, 2012 voters in all eight Consortium municipalities approved referendums authorizing each municipality to operate an "opt-out" electricity aggregation program for residents and small businesses. mc2 was selected as the Consortium's service provider in April 2012 following a request for proposals for electricity aggregation services. As part of the agreement with mc2, Consortium communities review electricity rates annually within the 36-month time period to ensure that customers are receiving the best possible electricity rate. In the first successful year of a three-year contract with MC Squared Energy Services, LLC ("mc2"), residents and businesses of member communities comprising the North Shore Electricity Aggregation Consortium ("Consortium") are projected to realize savings of over $26 million off of Commonwealth Edison ("ComEd") residential electricity rates, with individual customers saving approximately $366 on average through the first 12 months of participation.
North Shore Residents Will Save at Least 17% Annually on Electricity Rates
Beginning June 2012, mc2 became the Consortium's alternative electricity supplier and has supplied power to almost 70,000 Consortium customers since that time. For the second year of the three-year contract, the Consortium has secured electricity rates of 4.990 cents per kilowatt-hour ("kWh") for June 2013 through May 2014 billing cycles for residential and eligible small commercial customers. Last week, ComEd announced that its residential rate for the same period will be 6.047 cents per kWh*. The Consortium's rate represents a modest 3% increase over the current Consortium rate of 4.836 cents/kWh, and results in savings of more than 17% when compared to ComEd's new rates. Certain small business customers and space heat customers are expected to save even more under mc2's new rates.
Under the Consortium's rate pricing in Year 2, customers will retain the opportunity to support renewable energy resources through voluntary participation in a 100% Green Power Program that purchases renewable energy certificates. To learn more about mc2, please visit www.northshoreelectricityaggregation.com.
*As per the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), it is expected that the Purchased Electricity Adjustment for the period until May 2014 will be a charge of 0.5 cents per kWh. The ComEd rate quoted here includes this charge, which is applied to all customers regardless of provider, and is included in the Consortium's cost as well.
mc 2 Customers Can Purchase Renewable Energy
MC Squared customers in the North Shore Electricity Aggregation Consortium, of which Highland Park is a member, have the opportunity to participate in the Green Power Program. For a small additional charge, mc 2 will use purchased renewable energy certificates (RECs) to cover 100% of the electricity supply requirements for participants in the Green Power Program. The Green Power Program electricity supply rate will increase to just 4.936 cents per kilowatt hour compared to the base rate of 4.836 cents per kilowatt hour.
An REC is created when one megawatt hour of energy generated by a renewable source, such as wind power, is placed in the electricity grid. RECs support clean energy sources. The City of Highland Park entered into an agreement with mc 2 in 2012 in order to offer residents and small business customers lower rates on electricity service.
For more information and to enroll in the Green Power Program, please visit www.northshoreelectricityaggregation.com or call (888) 808-7731.
View a list of Frequently Asked Questions about renewable energy certificates
Space Heat Customers Are Eligible for Aggregation Rate
When the North Shore Electricity Aggregation Consortium began to implement the opt-out portion of the aggregation program with the selected supplier MC Squared Energy Services, customers using the ComEd space heat rate were receiving a lower rate than the ComEd default electricity rate and therefore were not included in the opt-out program. However, with the Consortium’s rate of 4.990 cents per kilowatt hour, the aggregated rate is still less than the ComEd space heat rate. Moreover, due to ICC regulations, the space heat rate is expected to continue to increase until it matches the ComEd default rate within the next five years. As a result, the Consortium has decided to offer this reduced rate for space heat customers and run a separate “opt-out” program for the approximate 600 affected space heat customers in Highland Park. Customers can learn more about space heat with the attached fact sheet.
For More Information:
Residents seeking more information regarding electricity suppliers may contact the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) at www.citizensutilityboard.org /(800) 669-5556 and the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) at www.icc.illinois.gov /(217) 785-7456.
More information will be available in upcoming editions of the Highlander newsletter, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and cable channel 10. For more information, please contact Luke Banaszak, Administrative Intern, at (847) 926-1030 or by email or Karen Berardi, Management Analyst, at (847) 926-1043.
View a list of Frequently Asked Questions
March 14, 2012, Press Release