South Holland, Lansing to rebid electric power rates under aggregation

2014-03-22T00:00:00Z South Holland, Lansing to rebid electric power rates under aggregationGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 22, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Village boards for South Holland and Lansing approved this week to rebid contracts that set rates charged to local customers for their electricity.

Voters in both south suburbs in recent years approved electricity aggregation, in which the village hires a firm that negotiates an electricity rate for all local residents.

By negotiating for all residents at once, those companies can get a bulk rate that often is lower than what customers would pay if they were getting their electricity directly from Commonwealth Edison.

But the deals that have been in place for the past year in both communities are about to expire, meaning those firms will now have to renegotiate rates that will apply for the upcoming year.

In South Holland, the Village Board gave its approval to the renegotiation on Monday. Village Administrator Jason Huisman said the new rate will take effect once a deal is complete, and that further village trustee action is not required.

During the past year, South Holland residents paid a rate of 4.79 cents per kilowatt hour due to a deal negotiated by First Energy.

Lansing Village Administrator J. Wynsma said the Village Board on Tuesday approved a similar renegotiation for the agreement that Verde Energy USA got for Lansing residents a year ago, one that had residents paying 5.4 cents per kilowatt hour.

Timothy Lapp, who serves as village attorney in both South Holland and Lansing, said rates likely will increase slightly in both communities.

But he also said officials are hopeful negotiating a rate through aggregation gets them a cost that is still lower than the 6.023 cents per kilowatt hour that people pay Commonwealth Edison.

Village presidents Norm Abbott, of Lansing, and Don De Graff, of South Holland, both have said they believe their respective suburbs have benefited from electricity aggregation.

Lansing officials say their residents saved about $214,000 collectively during the past year, while De Graff said Monday South Holland residents saved about $250 per electric power customer during the same time period.

"I think (electricity aggregation) has been a benefit to our community," De Graff said, adding he hopes people realize any increase they experience in coming months could have been larger.

"I hope the rates will continue to be less than what they would pay under ComEd," he said.

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