Chicago Heights to Change Electric Suppliers as Rates Climb

Electricity CoverFriday, April 04, 2014

After opting into the Electrical Aggregation program, Chicago Heights residents saved nearly $200,000 in utilities costs in 2013. Now, due to rising rates, the City of Chicago Heights will be switching electrical providers.

Last year, the City made the switch from ComEd to First Energy Solutions and provided residents a decrease in electricity costs from 8.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) to 4.6 cents per kWh. The contract with First Energy was for just one year.

In February, the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative (NIMEC) received the city council’s approval to go out to bid for an electric supplier. NIMEC Executive Director David Hoover reported that the bids came back higher than anticipated. The increases were the result of power markets being higher as well as the increasing regulated charge.

As a result of the increase the City is taking all the accounts from First Energy Solutions and moving them back to ComEd. Hoover said the current rate from ComEd is 6 cents per kWh, but he expects that the ComEd rate will increase in June, possibly going above 7 cents per kWh.

ComEd will be sending out a letter in April notifying residents that First Energy will no longer be the electric supplier. If a resident would like to switch to a new supplier other than ComEd, he or she must make that change within the next two bill periods of receiving the letter from ComEd. Otherwise,  the resident will be required to remain with ComEd as their electrical supplier for a total of 12 months.

The City will also be sending a letter out as well, letting residents know that it will be going back to ComEd. Chief of Staff Lisa Aprati noted that the 2013 electricity rates were a great success for the City and residents.

“The lower rate in 2013 saved money for residents, and that was always our goal,” Aprati said. “By making the switch this year, we are striving to keep the 2014 rates under 8.4 cents per kilowatt hour.”

The City will go out to bid for electrical suppliers again in 2015.

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