August 2021: Beginning in October 2021, the City of Highland Park in conjunction with other members of the North Shore Electricity Aggregation Consortium will launch the State of Illinois's largest price match electricity program. The Consortium, which also includes the City of Lake Forest and the Villages of Deerfield, Lake Bluff, Northbrook, and Skokie, recently selected Chicago-based MC Squared Energy Services, LLC to serve the Consortium with electric supply through October 2024. 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. Each participating municipality will be provided a civic contribution annually which can be used to advance sustainability initiatives or support broader community goals established by each community.
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.
Official notices will be mailed, per state regulation, the week of August 10 with more information about the program. Different letters will be mailed to residents depending on their current electric service with ComEd, serving as informational only, offering the option to opt-in to the program, or offering the option to opt-out. There are no fees/charges to take any action to participate or remove your household from the program.
Background on the North Shore Electricity Aggregation Consortium (NSEAC)
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. As required by State law, on March 20, 2012 voters in all eight NSEAC municipalities approved referendums authorizing each municipality to operate an "opt-out" electricity aggregation program for residents and small businesses. 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 NSEAC.
MC Squared was selected as the consortium’s first service provider in April 2012 following a request for proposals for electricity aggregation services. During an active aggregation contract, NSEAC communities review electricity rates annually to ensure that customers are receiving the best possible electricity rate. Given the overwhelming success of the initial three-year contract, in November 2014, the Consortium sought bids for a second program effort that began after the expiration of the contract with MC Squared on May 31, 2015. Constellation Energy offered the lowest vendor margin bid, allowed the Consortium communities to only lock an electricity supply rate if deemed favorable, and offered a natural gas option similar to electricity aggregation. The contract with Constellation Energy was a two-year term running through May 31, 2017. Due to commodities market conditions, the City was not able to secure a lower supply rate with Constellation Energy compared to ComEd’s supply rate, thus all aggregation eligible Highland Park electricity accounts were kept with ComEd’s electricity supply.
For More Information
Consumers interested in exploring electricity supply alternatives can learn
more through the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) at www.citizensutilityboard.org / 800.669.5556 and the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) at www.pluginillinois.org / 217.785.7456.
For more information, please contact Rob Sabo, Assistant City Manager, at 847.926.1004 or by email.