residents should see a lower power bill by fall after the county electricity aggregation group the village is a part of chose a new supplier and negotiated a lower rate for participating communities Thursday.
The members of a consortium put together by the Will County Governmental League voted to go with FirstEnergy Solutions, which will provide a rate of 4.83 cents per kilowatt-hour over the next two years. ComEd's current rate is 8.32 cents per kWh.
"I think the rate achieved will likely be lower than what residents could get on their own," said Mayor Jim Holland, who has been deeply involved with the consortium since its beginnings.
Overall, Holland and Frankfort officials were pleased with the result, as well as the process. In fact, one of the benefits membership has had is not tying up village employees with work connected to finding a supplier and negotiating a rate.
"Certainly by joining the league we got a very good rate, but we also ended up with a lot less work for our staff," Holland said. "That it was shared by a number of organizations, and that was a savings."
So what does this mean for residents? Here's a break down:
Is this Rated Locked In?
Yes and no. FirstEnergy's rate cannot increase, but the group's contract stipulates the supplier will match ComEd's rate if it decreases to less than the negotiated amount, Holland said.
What Does This Rate Mean for My Overall Bill?
Village Administrator Jerry Ducay said that the rate only applies to the supply charge. The other taxes, delivery costs and other fees will still be the same. The net savings for most household bills will be about $50 a month, he added. Customers can multiply the usage amount at the top of their bills by the new rate and add in the other costs to get a sense of how much they will play, Ducay said.
What if I Don't Want to Switch Electricity Suppliers?
In about 30 to 45 days, residents will receive letters from ComEd, offering them the opportunity to opt out of the village's aggregation agreement, Ducay said. If a resident is with another, private supplier, he or she will remain with that provider but can join the village's program when his or her contract is up, he said.
Residents aren't the only ones with an escape clause. As part of the agreement with the consortium, member communities are able to opt out at any time—without penalty—if they don't feel it's working out the way they would like it to, Holland said.
What Do You Know About FirstEnergy Solutions?
It's an energy supplier based out of Akron, Ohio, and does residential, commercial and industrial business in Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to its website.
Other Chicago-area communities that have recently picked FirstEnergy as its electricity supplier include Rockford, Aurora, Round Lake Beach and Morton Grove.
Do I Call FirstEnergy Solutions if There's an Outage?
No. FirstEnergy is only the electricity supplier. ComEd still delivers the juice to your house, and the utility company will be on the line for billing and maintenance and repairs.
Even though the Will County group has agreed to this new supplier, the Frankfort Village Board still needs to ratify this, which could happen as soon as Monday's meeting, Ducay said.
After that, FirstEnergy will notify ComEd of the change, and then the letters will be sent out. It should be a matter of weeks from that point until residents see the new rates, Holland said.
Other Frankfort Patch Stories on Electricity Aggregation:
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