The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 15, 2013

Rate higher than county’s

Homefield wins electricity bid

BY JENNIFER BAILEY
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Bid day for the electrical aggregation program for the city resulted in a higher rate than the county’s for electrical service through Integrys, but a lower rate than what Ameren charges residents.

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer sent out an e-mail Wednesday afternoon, after the 11 a.m. Wednesday bidding.

Eisenhauer reported the energy supply bid process resulted in the lowest bidder of Homefield Energy at a rate of 4.333 cents per kilowatt hour for a term of 22 months.

This rate is slightly higher than what Integrys is providing through the county program at 4.26 cents per kilowatt hour, but lower than what Ameren charges customers — 5.1 cents per kilowatt hour — providing for a savings for the average household of between 10 percent to 15 percent.

The rate applies to Danville customers, in addition to those in Tilton, Hoopeston and other communities that agreed to work with consultant Good Energy.

Homefield Energy is headquartered in Collinsville and is the residential electric supply option from Ameren Energy Marketing, a retail electric supplier that operates independently from Ameren Illinois Co. Ameren Energy Marketing is a subsidiary of Ameren Corp.

Good Energy officials said Danville went out for bid with 37 other communities, representing 105,000 households. There were no restrictions on the energy, such as its source having to be green energy.

“Certainly I was disappointed that the rate was not lower, however, if you have studied the electricity market lately you recognize the trend is toward higher costs rather than lower, so the results were not surprising,” Eisenhauer said through an e-mail.

“My biggest concern was being able to provide a rate lower than what Ameren is currently charging, and providing our residents with savings on their electrical supply, which, with this rate, will produce supply bills 10 percent to 15 percent less expensive. Most importantly, our residents now have a comparison rate so when they are approached by other companies they know the price to beat is ($)0.04333 for the next 22 months,” he said.

“At the end of the process, I am very happy we will be able to save our residents money, and appreciate Good Energy for assisting us through the bid procedure,” Eisenhauer added.

There will be a letter sent to all residents explaining the program and the rate, and also explaining the opt-out program in case someone wishes to contract with another company.

The new supply pricing should be effective by the July billing cycle.

The rate will apply to all residents and small businesses with less than 15,000 kilowatt usage annually, unless they opt out.

Danville voters in April easily approved the electrical aggregation referendum on city ballots with a 2,122 to 871 vote, or 71 percent approval.

A November referendum for the county was determined to make the program available only to unincorporated areas, not the city. It passed by a 2-to-1 margin in the city.

The city has the same “opt-out” program as the county.

With approval of the referendum, Danville’s electrical rate was bid out with a group of other communities all represented by consultant Good Energy.

A fee of not more than .00075 cents per kilowatt hour for Good Energy will be added to the bid rate the city approves.

The Danville City Council will discuss the bid and program on Tuesday at its regularly scheduled 6 p.m. meeting at city hall.

An aggregation program gives the city the authority to enter into an electric supply power contract on behalf of residents and small businesses in the city that have not opted out with the intent to secure a lower rate for electric service. This is to yield reduced electric bills.

Residents could start seeing savings in their electric bills by July and August. It could take longer for budget-billing customers.