Electricity aggregation group warns of pretenders
By Bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org August 13, 2012 8:26PM
WILL ELECTRIC AGGREGATION GROUP
Towns in the group: Beecher, Bolingbrook, Braidwood, Channahon, Coal City, Crete, Elwood, Frankfort, Homer Glen, Lemont, Peotone, Plainfield, Rockdale, Romeoville, Shorewood and Woodridge.
Towns opting in: Diamond, Lockport, Minooka and Monee.
Joliet: Votes next week on opt-in option.
Updated: September 15, 2012 6:14AM
Beware of energy companies calling.
Companies pretending to be part of a regional electricity buying cooperative approved by voter referendum have been trying to cut into the business by getting to potential customers first.
If they’re the real thing, they won’t be calling on the phone, said Hugh O’Hara with the Will County Governmental League.
The league organized a referendum in March when 16 towns in Will County joined the group called the Will Electric Aggregation Group. Another five towns, including Joliet, are in the process of joining the group in a slightly different arrangement.
But no matter what the arrangement, potential customers will be contacted by mail, not phone, O’Hara said.
“Let people be aware no one will be calling them about this,” O’Hara said Monday. “It’s extremely important.”
O’Hara said the group has heard from a half-dozen people contacted by other energy companies with deceptive messages. But, he said, he does not know how many more times it has happened.
“The resident is led to believe that they will have to sign up over the phone to take advantage of the community rate,” he said.
Electricity supplier FirstEnergy Solutions, the company chosen by the Will Electric Aggregation Group, has not yet begun to contact its potential customers. But those notices will go out by mail and could be sent in the next week to 10 days, O’Hara said.
Aware that competing energy companies also might try to deceive through the mail, the group wants to have the notice envelopes go out with city emblems.
The changeover from ComEd to FirstEnergy as the new electric supplier should be done by October or November, he said.
Residents and businesses in towns that voted for the program will not have to do anything to get an alternative rate, which is about 40 percent lower than ComEd’s current rate. But if they want to stay with ComEd, they will have to return a form included in the notice.
Four towns that rejected the referendum have decided to give their residents the option of “opting in,” which means those who want to switch to First Energy will have to send back a form saying so. Those towns are Lockport, Minooka, Monee and Diamond. The Joliet City Council is scheduled to vote on the opt-in option next week.