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Community Choice Electricity Aggregation
Community Choice Electricity Aggregation (CCA) allows local governments the option to bundle together residential and small commercial retail electric accounts and seek proposals for a cheaper, and possibly cleaner, source of power.
City Selects Homefield Energy as Electricity Aggregation Program Supplier
The City of Evanston is partnering with Homefield Energy for its electricity aggregation program (aggregation program), providing participating residents and small businesses with 100 percent renewable energy. The Evanston City Council approved a three-year contract with Homefield Energy on April 28, 2014. More information on the program with Homefield Energy, including the terms and conditions, can be found on Homefield's website.
Contract Price and Term:
Evanston secured an electricity supply price of 7.644 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the first 24 months of the contract and 6.923 cents per kWh for the last 12 months. That means residents and small businesses that do not opt out of the program will pay an average of 7.404 cents per kWh over the three-year contract, August 2014 through July 2017.
Opt In or Opt Out:
Residents and small businesses can opt out of the program at any time without penalty, or opt into the program at any time during the three-year contract. Changes to program participation can be made by contacting Homefield Customer Care at 866-694-1262 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You will need to provide the account holder name, address and account number.
ComEd’s price-to-compare for January 2016 through May 2016 includes the utility’s "electricity supply" and "transmission services" charges totaling 6.987 cents per kWh, plus a “purchased electricity adjustment (PEA)” of up to 0.5 cents per kWh. ComEd’s PEA changes monthly and can be a charge or a credit. Participants in Evanston’s aggregation program do not pay a PEA. Beyond May of 2016, ComEd's price is unknown. ComEd's program has a 10 percent renewable energy component as required by the State's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.
Green Energy Contract:
Evanston’s new contract provides 100 percent renewable energy by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) which ensure that green energy is being produced and added to the electricity grid. RECs will come from facilities, such as wind farms, located in Illinois or a neighboring state and are required to be generated within one year of the energy being used by the aggregated group. The cost for the renewable electricity mix amounts to just over one dollar per month for the average single family home with a typical annual usage of 9,000 kWh.
The City and Homefield Energy mailed a letter to eligable residents and small businesses in May detailing the new contract. Residents and small businesses who wish to continue in the City’s aggregation program do not have to take any action and will automatically be switched to Homefield Energy.
What is Community Choice Electricity Aggregation?
CCA is an opt-out program that allows local governments the option to bundle together, or aggregate, residential and small commercial retail electric accounts and seek proposals for a cleaner, and possibly cheaper, source of power. Currently, ComEd purchases electricity on behalf of their customers who have not selected another supplier and passes those energy supply costs onto the customers. By bundling residential and small commercial accounts, municipalities may be able to obtain savings by purchasing energy supply from the open market. The electricity is still delivered by ComEd, which would remain responsible for customer service, such as billing and outage response.
What Does “Opt-Out” mean?
All residential and small business customers can choose to opt out of the program altogether, and stick with the ComEd purchased electricity or choose a supplier on their own.
Don’t Residential and Small Commercial Retail Customers already have the power to choose their supplier?
Yes, as a result of energy deregulation in Illinois, all consumers have the option to select an alternate retail electricity supplier.
The Illinois Commerce Commission approves the alternate retail electric suppliers that are allowed to supply electricity in Illinois. Information on electric supply choice can be found on the Illinois Commerce Commission’s Plug In Illinois website. There are several important questions that any customer should ask when considering selecting an energy supplier including questions about the price, contract terms, enrollment process, billing process, and customer service. The Citizens Utility Board, a consumer advocacy group, also provide good resources related to consumer electricity choice. In addition to visiting the websites of individual suppliers, other websites and companies are being developed to help compare electricity rates of several suppliers on one website.
In contrast to residential customers, 75% of the electricity consumed by Illinois’ large commercial and industrial customers is provided by alternate retail electricity suppliers, according to the Illinois Commerce Commission. Large industrial and commercial customers go out to market and obtain a lower rate and save money on their electric bills. In a similar way, the City of Evanston is purchasing electricity for the city’s top 23 energy using buildings from the open market and receiving a supply rate that is less than the ComEd purchased rate.
Residential and small business customers that have already selected an alternate retail electricity supplier would not be included with the aggregation program and would remain part of the agreement they already signed. In addition, those customers on ComEd’s real-time pricing program will also not be able to participate in the aggregation program. Residential customers can participate in a real-time pricing program which is another way to save money from the set rate but cannot be used in conjunction with aggregation.
Questions or Comments?
Questions or comments should be submitted to 3-1-1.
April 1, 2013 City Council Meeting Results
On Monday, April 1, 2013 the Evanston City Council selected Verde Energy USA (Verde) as Evanston's electricity supplier for the second year of the city's Community Choice Electricity Aggregation program. Click here to view the staff memo summarizing the selection process.
The Evanston City Council voted unanimously to purchase electricity from Verde for a 12-month term at a rate of $0.05192 per kilowatt hour with a 100% renewable energy mix . Read more about the agreement with Verde in the city's April 9, 2013 press release. The city is working with Verde to develop a schedule for implementing the program and switching electricity supply for the aggregated customers from Constellation Energy, the city's current supplier, to Verde. More information will be available in the next few weeks.
April 30, 2012 City Council Meeting Results
On Monday, April 30, 2012 the Evanston City Council held a special meeting to review the results from the City's Request for Proposals to supply electricity to the Evanston Aggregated Group of residential and small commercial customers that are eligible to participate in the program. A staff memo and powerpoint presentation was developed to summarize the proposals received.
The Evanston City Council voted unanimously to purchase electricity from Constellation Energy for a 12-month term at a rate of $0.04797 per kilowatt hour with a 100% renewable energy mix . This rate is 38% lower when compared to Commonwealth Edison Company’s current price. More details on the schedule for implementing the program with Constellation Energy will be presented at the Evanston City Council Meeting on May 21st.
Electricity Referendum Results - March 20th General Primary Election
On March 20, 2012, 73% of Evanston voters approved the referendum question for Community Choice Electric Aggregation and authorized the City to work to obtain lower electricity supply rates for its residents and small businesses through an opt-out electricity aggregation program.
The city will take the next steps in implementing an opt-out electricity aggregation program by holding three public hearings on a Plan of Operation and Governance for the program on April 3rd, April 4th and April 9th. The Final Plan of Operation and Governance was approved by City Council on April 10, 2012.
On Tuesday, November 29, 2011 the Evanston City Council passed an ordinance (103-O-11) which places a binding referendum question on the March Primary General election about Community Choice Electricity Aggregation (CCA). Information about CCA is summarized below. City staff has also developed a memorandum and a powerpoint presentation on CCA, which were provided to City Council at the November 29th meeting.
There will be three public informational meetings to discuss this ballot question in the community:
- Monday, January 30, 7 p.m., Council Chambers, Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.
- Thursday, February 23, 7 p.m., Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St.
- Thursday, March 8, 7 p.m., Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St.
Additionally, there will be informational presentations at various ward meetings prior to the March 20th General Primary Election (visit www.cityofevanston.org/events for ward meeting dates). The presentation for Community Choice Electricity Aggregation can be viewed here.
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