The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 19, 2013

Rossville board hears from Good Energy pitch as electrical program partner

BY KIM LUTTRELL
Commercial-News

ROSSVILLE — Village trustees heard a presentation Monday from Jared McMorris of Good Energy LP of Peoria.

Good Energy has been making presentations at most of the town and village board meetings throughout the county in order to become the energy consultant for those municipalities that have the question of municipal aggregation on the April consolidated election ballot.

McMorris told Rossville members his firm does not sell electricity but rather helps municipalities obtain the lowest cost electricity provider for towns it represents. According to McMorris, Good Energy will "bundle" all of its participating municipalities as well as a few counties into a pool to get a better price for electricity.

"We like to think of ourselves as the Sam’s Club of energy brokers," McMorris said.

Good Energy plans to form a pool of participating municipalities and counties into a pool of an estimated size of 100,000 households to go on the open market and seek bids from electrical energy suppliers.

McMorris said Good Energy has already had success in two previous pools and has obtained electrical power for those participating communities near 4 cents per kilowatt hour. The current rate that Integrys, the electric supplier that the county has chosen, is 4.26 cents per kilowatt hour.

McMorris said after the next pool of municipalities has been bid out, Good Energy will represent about 80 percent of the central and southern Illinois service area that Ameren covers.

McMorris said residents of Rossville will still only receive one bill from Ameren and residents will have two opportunities to opt-out if they do not wish to participate, if the referendum is successful.

Vermilion County residents approved a county-wide referendum for electrical aggregation in last November’s election but a state agency has ruled that it cannot apply to incorporated areas of the county, thus resulting in each individual municipality to place its own referendum on the April ballot.

The proposed agreement with Good Energy states the firm will conduct a public education program to provide residents with information prior to the April election. The firm plans to do this through public meetings, providing speakers for civic organizations, through mailings and handouts.

If the referendum is successful, Good Energy would then assist village officials in the bidding process as well as awarding a final contract. The village would not pay Good Energy any money, it would receive its payment from the successful bidder that will provide the electrical energy to village residents.

Village officials would have the authority to tack on a fee to each resident’s electric bill. Mc Morris said the amount figures out to about $1 per month per household. He estimated it would yield the village about $7,000 to $8,000 a year in new revenue.

McMorris said each community has the option of adding the fee and it could be added for the first year only, then dropped.

"There would certain additional work for your village clerk, the first year," McMorris said. "The clerk would be working with a list provided by Ameren of determining households that are in the village limits and those that are not."

Board members took no action on Good Energy’s proposal.

In other board action, trustees:

Voted not to renew their membership in Vermilion Advantage for the upcoming year. Several board members cited their displeasure with the organization for their part in the closing of Rossville’s ConAgra plant. The cost to the village would have been $300.

Approved several changes to the village liquor ordinance. There are four establishments in Rossville that hold liquor licenses. Trustees learned that the mayor, as liquor commissioner, has suspended the liquor license of one of those establishments. The Other Place II for violation of the liquor ordinance for not providing proof of bond and not providing proof of BASSET training for its employees.

Approved the sole bid for an unused diesel generator form White’s Electric of Rossville for $5,687.

Approved a parade permit for the Rossville American Legion for July 4.

What’s next

Rossville Village Board members will meet at 7 p.m. March 18 in the municipal building.