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Municipal Electricity Aggregation

Update of Electricity Aggregation Consortium
At this time, the Consortium has not locked in an electricity supply rate with Constellation Energy due to electricity commodity pricing not being at favorable levels. The Consortium continually monitors electricity commodity pricing in the event rates become favorable. If an electricity supply rate is locked in, residents will be notified. The Consortium only intends to lock in an electricity supply rate with Constellation Energy if it will result in energy cost savings when compared to ComEd's electricity supply rate. The Consortium has until March 2017 to lock a rate with Constellation Energy, however the closer we get to March 2017, the less likely that any rate will be locked.  Unless an electrical supply rate is locked with Constellation Energy, residents and businesses will continue to have electricity supplied by ComEd.

Information on Electricity Aggregation Agreement with Constellation Energy
In March, 2015, the Cities of Highland Park, Lake Forest and the Villages of Deerfield, Glencoe, Lake Bluff, Northbrook and Skokie (the "North Shore Electricity Aggregation Consortium" or "Consortium") entered into agreements with Constellation Energy to provide electricity supply and services to the Consortium's electricity aggregation customers. The twenty-four (24) month agreement with Constellation Energy resulted from an extensive due diligence process that started in November 2014.  Offers from suppliers were evaluated by the Consortium members, legal counsel, and energy consultant.  The Consortium received two timely responses that were substantively complete. Constellation Energy offered the lowest bid and also offered a natural gas affinity program.

The agreement with Constellation Energy locks in the vendor's margin which is only a portion of the total electricity supply rate. The other portion of the electricity supply rate is not controlled by Constellation Energy or biddable by the Consortium and is reliant on commodities pricing for electricity. The agreement with Constellation Energy allows the Consortium to only lock a rate if it is favorable versus ComEd pricing.

Residents who wish to enter into an individual contract with a third party electric provider are free to do so. Keep in mind, residents with third party providers will not be automatically enrolled in the City’s program but can opt in as desired. The Illinois Commerce Commission has created www.pluginillinois.org as the State’s official electric choice website to assist residents in comparing utility supply prices and offers from retail electric suppliers.

Questions about the electric aggregation program can be directed to the City Manager’s Office at (847) 926-1000.

Electrical Aggregation Program Features Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)
The Highland Park City Council approved the City's contract with Constellation Energy in March, 2015 to include the purchase of renewable energy credits or RECs to support renewable energy generation. The City of Highland Park seeks to be a leader in renewable energy and therefore, was the only community in the Consortium to approve the added option of purchasing RECs. A REC is created when one megawatt hour of energy generated by a renewable source, such as wind power, is placed onto an electricity grid. RECs help finance cleaner sources of energy, supporting the City's Sustainability Plan goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The additional cost of purchasing RECs is approximately $20 per year for the average Highland Park home.  However, the REC program only becomes available if the City locks in a rate with Constellation Energy by March 2017.

Background on the North Shore Electricity Aggregation Consortium (NSEAC)
Illinois law allows a municipality to seek bids for the provision of aggregate electricity supply services to residential and small commercial customers, in hopes that the selected rate will be lower than the standard rate offered by ComEd. As required by State law, on March 20, 2012 voters in all eight Consortium municipalities approved referendums authorizing each municipality to operate an "opt-out" electricity aggregation program for residents and small businesses. In an effort to maximize the amount of savings for customers, the communities of Deerfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Northbrook, Park Ridge and Skokie worked together through an Intergovernmental Agreement and created the North Shore Electricity Aggregation Consortium (NSEAC).

MC Squared was selected as the consortium’s first service provider in April 2012 following a request for proposals for electricity aggregation services.  As part of the program, Consortium communities review electricity rates annually to ensure that customers are receiving the best possible electricity rate. Given the overwhelming success of the initial three year contract, in November 2014, the Consortium sought bids for a second program effort that would begin after the expiration of the contract with MC Squared on May 31, 2015. Constellation Energy offered the lowest vendor margin bid, allowed the Consortium communities to only lock a electricity supply rate if deemed favorable, and offered a natural gas option similar to electricity aggregation.  

For More Information:

The City's agreement with Constellation does not prevent residents from individually seeking their own Alternative Retail Electric Supplier.  Consumers interested in exploring other alternatives can learn more through the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) at www.citizensutilityboard.org /(800) 669-5556 and the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) at www.pluginillinois.org /(217) 785-7456. 

For more information, please contact Rob Sabo, Assistant City Manager, at (847) 926-1004 or by email.