Minooka referendum could bring lower electric rates
By Kris Stadaslky For The Herald-News October 13, 2011 7:58AM
Updated: November 16, 2011 3:30PM
MINOOKA — Residents and small retail customers may have the opportunity to get cheaper rates on their electricity if a referendum is approved in the February primary election.
The village board passed a resolution at the end of September that authorizes the village to participate in the Will Utility Aggregation Group, an entity of the Will County Governmental League. The group brings together multiple municipalities who act as one body to seek lower electricity rates.
The next step will be placing the question on the ballot, asking residents if they want the village to shop for better rates for them.
Rate shopping is something done on the municipal level each year. The village has been saving about $2,000 annually by purchasing electricity from alternative energy suppliers for its sewage treatment plants, wells and administrative offices.
Residential property owners already have the option of shopping around for power suppliers, said Village Administrator Dan Duffy.
But they can save even more money by joining a large group of residents participating in the aggregation program. The group could grow from 5,000 Minooka residents participating to 150,000 countywide residents, Duffy said.
“By working with the Will County Governmental League, we can achieve an even better rate,” Duffy said.
Now that the ordinance has passed, the question goes to a referendum. If enough voters approve of participation in the aggregate group, two hearings will be held and information about the program will be sent to all residents.
Residents have the choice of opting out of the program even if the referendum passes, said Duffy. Each resident can choose whether he or she wants to keep their own energy supplier, shop around for a better rate alone or participate in the group.
When the village electricity rate goes out for bid, and if the bid is higher than ComEd, the village does not have to accept the higher bid, Duffy said.