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Mayor Outlines Electricity Price Options

City approved a plan to work with MC Squared for cost savings on March 23.

Last month, to permit the City to negotiate for the lowest possible electricity power price on behalf of residents and small businesses.

On March 23, the City Council approved a  to work with MC Squared Energy Services to contract for these cost savings. All electricity will still come via ComEd equipment, but the negotiation ensures the lowest possible price for that electricity.

In a few weeks, you will receive a letter from the City explaining your options and providing directions.

Making Your Decision

If you are currently receiving the ComEd rate and wish to receive the City negotiated rate from MC Squared, you do not have to do anything. You will be automatically switched to MC Squared. There will be no disruption in service. Your bill will still come from ComEd, but you will see a cost savings beginning around June.  If the power goes out, your contact will still be ComEd.

If you have already contracted with an alternate supplier (not ComEd), you are subject to the contract you signed with that supplier. If you wish to switch to MC Squared with the City's negotiated rate, you will need to meet the termination requirements in your current contract and follow the opt-in directions provided by the City.

If you want to continue to receive the electricity rate from ComEd or an alternate supplier (not MC Squared), instructions will also be provided and you will need to opt-out of the City program.

All of these options will be spelled out in the City's letter coming out later this month.

Green Energy

In addition to reduced energy prices, residents will have the opportunity to support the future development of renewable energy sources through the purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs). These are credits purchased in amounts proportionate to the environmental impact of power used. The credits provide funding that is then invested in the development of renewable energy sources. The more power you offset, the more you contribute to developing new renewable energy sources.  

In approving our plan, the Council had to decide whether to offer RECs, and if so, whether to mandate that all residents pay for RECs or give residents the individual choice to purchase RECs. The Council voted unanimously to give you the choice to decide whether you wanted to support 100% RECs for an additional $1/month on your bill.  The upcoming City letter will explain how to purchase RECs.

The average household adds close to 5 tons of carbon dioxide annually to the Earth's atmosphere and the RECs will contribute to the future mitigation of that carbon footprint.  For an additional $1 per month, together we can work toward a greener planet.

For further information, click here for the City's recent update on Electrical Aggregation. Click here for the Frequently Asked Questions page from the City's website and click here for my earlier blast about this subject.

Questions? Contact Emily Palm, Assistant to the City Manager at epalm@cityhpil.com or 847-926-1004.

Nancy Rotering
Highland Park Mayor 

John Welch Fitness April 05, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Nancy, will there be a contractual obligation to remain with MC2 over a designated period of time? If so, will we be subjected to a penalty should we desire making a switch to an alternate supplier in the future?
Nancy Rotering April 06, 2012 at 03:11 AM
The contractual obligation will be for 3 years. If you choose to switch suppliers before then, there is a termination fee of $25. For additional details, check out the City's webpage: http://www.cityhpil.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=88.
Bryce Robertson April 06, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Nancy, some time ago (pre-voting), I recall reading something describing that if MCSquared could not beat ComEd's rate for a year, their contract would be terminated with the consortium. A) is this correct, and if so, B) will this switch be after we have paid higher rates for a year or will it be immediate upon a quote from MCS? The idea of savings is great, but I am just wondering if they will take a chance to spike rates for a year once they are locked in, similar to what other providers have done (Energy Plus is a good example, which started a few years ago with a low, variable rate which is now one of the highest in the area). Thanks in advance for the answers!
Nancy Rotering April 06, 2012 at 06:37 PM
The rate will be locked in for 12 months and then we will assess the rate savings again for the following year. If MC Squared cannot secure a rate that beats the published ComEd rate, the contract will terminate. We set this up with annual rate locks to ensure that each year we compare available alternate supplier pricing against ComEd pricing. For more details, don't hesitate to contact Emily Palm, Assistant to the City Manager at epalm@cityhpil.com. Also, be sure to check out the City's webpage: http://www.cityhpil.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=88
David Greenberg April 08, 2012 at 06:51 AM
What if one has a smart meter on the house from ComEd with 15-minute interval variable pricing?
Nancy Rotering April 10, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Closely compare your smart meter pricing with the flat pricing of the City program. A smart meter program is not part of the programming currently pursued through this initiative. (Apparently, the legislation did not take this into account when it was passed.)
David Greenberg April 10, 2012 at 08:34 AM
Thanks much. It's not really possible to compare the smart meter pricing - it varies every 15 minutes, 24 hrs a day from $0.00/Kwh to ??? although if the cost goes over $0.14/Kwh, an email alert is sent out so one can trim electrical usage during those times. The other piece to the puzzle is being locked into the smart meter program for a year once one signs up for it. Our bill has gone down substantially - not as much as one would expect, because ComEd tacks on all the other zillion fees that they seem to create, but still, it's dropped and that's always nice. As a result of being in the Smart Meter program, we'll likely have to opt out - but will be watching the differences with family and friends to see what happens in the future. Thanks for the info... :-)

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