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Energy aggregation up for township vote

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 10:47 a.m. CST

DeKALB – The DeKalb Township Board voted 5-0 to place a referendum on the April 9 ballot asking voters to authorize a power aggregation program.

Aggregation programs help to lower residents’ energy costs by allowing a unit of government to accept bids on power supply for a group of residents and business. Participants still receive a single energy bill. On average, participating households save $220 a year on their electric bills. Rock River Energy Services Co., the consulting firm which worked with the city of DeKalb on its power referendum, will guide the township through the process.

If the referendum passes the township will need to hold two public hearings on the issue before it is allowed to accept bids from power suppliers. The winning bidder will provide power for those residents in unincorporated DeKalb Township who have not opted out of the program. Residents of the city of DeKalb will not be affected in any way by the outcome of the referendum.

Each affected resident would have the option to participate in the program negotiated by the township, continue with the current rate offered by ComEd, or contract with an energy supplier of their choice.

“The residents will have the flexibility to choose which plan they think is best for them and if someone chooses to opt out of the program and at a later time want to enroll they have that option,” township supervisor Eric Johnson said.

In the 2012 primary election, voters in the city of DeKalb approved a power referendum, but DeKalb County voters did not. If, at a later date, DeKalb County holds a referendum that passes, the residents in unincorporated DeKalb Township will be allowed to choose between the two programs.

“I think this a good opportunity for township residents to see some savings on their electric bills and I’m glad the township is giving people the opportunity to vote on the issue,” Johnson said.

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