Now that electricity aggregation--the ability for a municipality to negotiate better power rates for the public and small businesses--is a reality in Frankfort, village residents are left with a decision to make.
Do nothing and see if officials can broker lower electric bills with a different supplier. Or opt out and determine their own electricity future.
That's right. Even though Frankfort voters passed the village's electricity aggregation referendum by a 61.13 percent margin (1,752 votes), residents aren't locked in to the initiative (a similar measure was defeated in Will County, which covered Frankfort Square and unincorporated residents). Under state law, they have the right to decline to be included in the program. Notices will be sent to residents and small businesses with an opt-out deadline, according to an informational brochure about aggregation created by the village.
"Some people ask if they can stay with ComEd," . "The answer is yes. Some ask how much will be saved. We will not know until ComEd publishes their annual rates in June and we then go to bid and find out what alternative suppliers will cost."
New Lenox, which passed its aggregation referendum last year, worked out a two-year deal for a 25-percent savings on its residents' electric bills by negotiating with Direct Energy. As of late last year, only 3 percent of New Lenox residents had opted out of the program, according to Mayor Tim Baldermann.
Before the bidding process begins for Frankfort, two public hearings to collect input for an aggregation plan must be held, the brochure states. Once a bid is received and a contract drawn up, the needs to approve it, the brochure continues, and the program should be in place by the summer.
It's important to note that even if the village's electricity supplier changes, ComEd will still deliver it to homes and be responsible for billing, power outages and repairs.
Now that you have the background on electricity aggregation, are you in or out? Take our poll and tell us why you chose the way you did in our comments section.