On Monday, April 7th, 2014, the Village negotiated and entered into a contract with FirstEnergy Solutions (FES) to again be the electrical supplier for the Village's electrical aggregation program. FES will provide electricity to all participating households and businesses at a rate of 6.69 cents per kilowatt hour for a three-year period beginning at the conclusion of the Village's current contract in July. This rate is 8% lower than ComEd's projected rate (7.2 cents per kilowatt hour) and will save the average household roughly $50 in its first year. All eligible residents and small businesses are automatically included in this contract unless they choose to "opt-out." Below are some frequently asked questions about the program:
1. How do I participate in this program?
Any resident or small business that lives or is located in the Village that meets the following conditions is automatically included in the program:
The customer must not have opted-out of aggregation.
The customer must not have a pre-existing contract with another electrical supplier (besides ComEd).
If the customer is a small business, it must not consume more than 15,000 kilowatt hours per year (a business the size of a dry cleaner or smaller most likely qualifies).
Certain customers will be offered the opportunity to participate but will not be automatically opted-in, including customers who have special rates such as basic electric service hourly pricing or retail delivery pricing. Customers with another supplier will also receive a notice about the program but will not be automatically opted-in.
2. What are the next steps in the process?
In the next few weeks, the Village and FES will mail a notice to all eligible customers to notify them of the offer, the terms of the agreement and instructions for how to proceed based on whether or not they want to participate. Customers will have the following options upon receiving this notice:
Customers who would like to participate in the program: If you received this notice and would like to participate in the program, you do not need to take any action. You will be automatically included following the closure of the “opt-out” period.
Customers who do not want to participate in the program: If you receive this notice and do not want to participate, you have the opportunity to opt-out of the program. Instructions for doing so are included in the notice.
If you did not receive a notice and live in the Village, please contact Village Hall at (847) 599-7500.
3. I have a contract with a different supplier. How can I join the Village's program?
You can join the Village's program simply by contacting FES at (1-866) 636-3749 and opting-in. Please be sure to check your contract with your current supplier to see if there are any penalties for early termination before opting-in.
4. Is FES's rate guaranteed?
Yes. The price of 6.69 cents per kilowatt hour is fixed for the duration of the contract. If the ComEd billing rate should drop below FES's rate at any point of the contract, residents will have the option to opt-out without penalty or the Village may simply cancel the contract and return all customers to ComEd.
6. Is any portion of this electricity renewable?
No. However, individual customers will be offered the opportunity to purchase electricity from renewable sources as part of this contract. The cost for 100% renewable energy will be 6.73 cents per kilowatt hour. Instructions on how to join this program will be included in the opt-out notices.
7. Will this change my relationship with ComEd?
No. ComEd will continue to own and operate the electrical grid, which means that they will still be responsible for billing you (on FES's behalf) and for conducting any necessary repairs.
8. Why has the cost of power risen?
The primary item driving price increases at this point in time is a scheduled change in the "capacity charge," which will go into effect on June 1st, 2014. Capacity charges are fees that are built into electricity prices to ensure that there is enough electricity to meet power demand at all times. For the past two years, they have been historically low, but the upcoming increase will cause power prices to rise. Despite this, the Village's new contract with FES will protect residents from any additional increases through July 2017.
For any questions, please contact Village Hall at (847) 599-7500.