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North Shore Suburbs Start State's Largest Price Match Electricity Program

North Shore Suburbs Start State’s Largest Price Match Electricity Program

August 4, 2021 – North Shore residents and small businesses in the Cities of Highland Park and Lake Forest and the Villages of Deerfield, Lake Bluff, Northbrook and Skokie will start the state’s largest “price match” electricity aggregation program this October. For this effort, the six participating communities will generate $1.6 million in total funding over three years at no additional cost to utility ratepayers.

The revenues allocated to these agencies through this program will be used to advance local sustainability initiatives and other goals established by each community. Examples include converting municipal fleets to electric vehicles, integrating sustainability features into infrastructure projects, purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) for local electricity usage, studying rooftop solar on municipal facilities, or providing general revenue to support broader community projects. 

Since 2009, Illinois state law allows municipalities to arrange for alternative suppliers to provide electricity to their residential and small commercial retail customers. This process is known as electric load aggregation. Aggregation is essentially seamless for the customer because ComEd continues to be responsible for billing, electricity delivery and customer service.

The six communities, working together as the North Shore Electricity Aggregation Consortium, first engaged in aggregation during 2012-2017 and saved residents tens of millions of dollars through reduced electricity rates. Under this new program, some, but not all, customers are moved from ComEd supply to an alternative supplier. Customers pay the exact same rate as they would with ComEd, and the alternative supplier provides a rebate to the contracting municipality. This will be the largest aggregation program using this model in Illinois.

Residents and small commercial customers in each community will receive letters during the week of August 10 about the program. No action is required to enroll, but accounts that are changing suppliers will have an opportunity to opt-out. There are no phone calls or door-to-door solicitations.

The Consortium selected MC Squared Energy Services, LLC of Chicago as its energy provider in early 2021. MC Squared was selected through a competitive bidding process open to all Illinois alternative electricity suppliers.

The six communities are partners with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus in the state’s largest municipally-sponsored community solar program. The program has commitments from solar developers to supply over 10 megawatts of community solar credits for residents and small businesses. The program has enrolled over three megawatts since launching in November 2020. Five of the six communities purchase community solar credits for their own facilities from the state’s first community solar facility, Rainy Solar, a 1.18 megawatt, 3,700-panel rooftop solar array in Elgin.

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