Sycamore Electric Aggregation Program Suspension

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pluginillinoisThe City of Sycamore established a municipal electric aggregation savings program in 2012 following the passage of a voter referendum. The purpose was to help residents purchase electricity at rates below ComEd, and was very successful: the average participating household will have saved an estimated $375 on electric supply versus the ComEd default rate, for a community-wide savings of $2 million by the end of the program’s two-year term. Savings continues through August 2014 meter reads, at which time the program expires.

The City sought bids for a renewal program, but declined offers. The lowest bids offered little or no expected savings versus the ComEd default rate. Thus, the City suspended the program, and may seek bids for a renewal program in 2015.

The base ComEd rate is re-set twice a year with a portion of the charge floating from month to month. The price to compare is estimated in a range of 7.93¢/kWh for the summer of 2014 and 7.81¢ for the year ending May 2015. The summer rate is 7.596¢ +/- a floating Purchased Electricity Adjustment charge that has averaged .33¢, thus the estimate of 7.93¢.

Residents should beware of door-to-door solicitors, direct callers or direct mail pieces regarding electric supply and are advised to carefully review contract terms for floating rates or early termination fees. It is recommended ratepayers never release their account number to a solicitor under any circumstance, unless they have decided to move to that supplier.

Residents that participated in the program have these options:

1.Do nothing and you will be moved to ComEd supply service, currently a lower rate than bids received by the City. Residents enrolled in the City’s program will receive a ComEd “Confirmation of Drop” notice stating their supply service will be switched back to ComEd. It also states ratepayers have two billing periods in which they may switch to another supplier orotherwise be required to remain on ComEd electric supply service for a total of 12 months.

2.The City’s supplier for the program that is now expiring may have sent a letter inviting you to continue with them but at a different rate and term. Carefully review details of any offers such as length of contract, fees, or floating rates before making a commitment.

3.Visit www.pluginIllinois.org and view options for comparing prices and terms between other suppliers in ComEd territory. Again, carefully review details, rate and terms.

The City took advantage of competition in the de-regulated electric market when it contracted the initial aggregation program. Electricity prices have increased in large part due to an increase in capacity charges as established by State regulators, as well as this winter’s “polar vortex,” which put great pressure on natural gas supplies, a large component of electricity generation. Although prices are now higher, you may be reminded that rates are below that of the summer of 2010 when the ComEd rate was about 9¢ per kWh. In 1998, just prior to electric deregulation, Illinois electric rates were 1¢/kWh above the national average. Following deregulation, prices are nearly 2¢ below the national average. Deregulation and municipal aggregation have resulted in substantial savings for Illinois residents!

Residents with questions about the program or ComEd rates are invited to call the City’s consultant, NIMEC at 800-727-3820. (When calling NIMEC, please leave your call back number and you will be contacted within 24 hours.)

Residents will be receiving a letter from First Energy explaining the change.  For additional information, please click here or call the City’s electric consultant, NIMEC, at 1-800-727-3820.  Please be aware, due to high call volume, you may need to leave your number and wait for a call back.