Urbana Council Signs with Consultant on Muncipal Aggregation

April 17, 2012

The Urbana City Council has unanimously approved an agreement with a consultant as the city moves forward with municipal electric aggregation.

New York-based Good Energy already represents a quarter of Ameren's residential business customers, or 53 towns and villages, as it tries to negotiate lower power rates. The consultant says the large bidding pool will result in a competitive bid price that Urbana couldn't negotiate on its own.

Despite his approval, Alderman Dennis Roberts cited some concerns with hiring a 'middle man' while the city laid all the groundwork.

"Would it be efficient for us, and would we get all of the services and expectations that the city had defined?" he said. "We're making some modications of our perfect scenario goals to look seriously at the Good Energy solution."

But Mayor Laurel Prussing's Chief of Staff, Mike Monson, said the 'clincher' for him was that Urbana can cancel the agreement if it doesn't like the negotiated price. Good is expected to charge a fee on each kilowatt hour of energy used by customers, amounting to about $75,000 annually. But the consultant says it will also negotiate a fee for the city that would generate twice that.

Champaign's City Council Tuesday faces its own vote on an electric aggregation plan. Residents in each city last month overwhelmingly approved referenda backing the program.

Story source: WILL