News Local/State

Savings Coming In for C-U Electricity Aggregate Programs

By Jim Meadows

Participants in Champaign-Urbana’s two Municipal Electricity Aggregation programs have saved nearly $1.2 million so far, compared to what their electric supply bill would be under Ameren. Figures released by the two cities list the savings at more than $690,000 through November for Champaign customers --- and about $500,000 saved through September for Urbana households.

Aggregation programs allow cities to buy electricity in bulk to sell at lower rates to participating households and small businesses.

Urbana gives its residents an electric supply rate of 4.05 cents per kilowatt hour. Champaign’s rate is about a tenth of a penny higher. Both are well below Ameren’s default rates of 6.16 cents in the summer and 5.45 cents the rest of the year.

Champaign Public Works Director Dennis Schmidt says that working with Chicago-based Integrys Energy to launch their Municipal Electricity Aggregation program has been a smoother process than he expected.

“Integrys obviously has done this up north in the Commonwealth Edison area for several municipalities”, said Schmidt. “And obviously, that level of experience is reflect in the work they’ve done for us.”

Meanwhile, the city of Urbana has worked with Collinsville based Homefield Energy in its Municipal Electricity Aggregation program.

Voters in Champaign and Urbana approved the two programs last spring. In November, voters approved Municipal Electricity Aggregation programs for Savoy, Mahomet, St. Joseph, Ogden and unincorporated parts of Champaign and Vermilion Counties.

A proposal to put Municipal Electricity Aggregation will be on the ballot this spring in Georgetown. And the Danville City Council is considering adding the question to their ballot.