Q&A on munnicipal aggregation

Posted: Oct. 27, 2012 10:06 pm Updated: Nov. 28, 2014 9:19 pm


What is municipal aggregation?

Part of the Illinois Power Agency Act of 2010, it allows homeowners and small businesses to be grouped together to increase their purchasing power for electricity, thereby reducing the rate because of that bulk purchasing power. Proponents say customers could save up to 35 percent on their electricity bill during the lifetime of the initial contract, which could be anywhere from 18 to 36 months.

Will the electric company serving Quincy change?

No. Ameren Illinois will still deliver electricity to customers and handle any outages. It will continue to own the power lines and transmission and distribution centers.

Is Ameren losing money because of this program?

No. There are three main components to your power bill: transmission, distribution and supply. Ameren only profits off the transmission and distribution portions of the bill. Those profits are used to maintain power lines, emergency crews, and transmission and distribution centers. The supply portion of bills are break-even for utility companies and do not support other services.

Will customers receive two electric bills?

No. Customers will still see one bill from Ameren. Billing inquiries will continue to be answered by Ameren.

If approved, how do customers sign up?

Customers will automatically be enrolled.

What if a customer does not want to be included in the program?

Homeowners will receive two notices with information on how to opt out of the program without a penalty or fee during the first 90 days after a contract is approved. If a customer wants to opt out after being included in the program, they could be charged a one-time fee of up to $25.

Will aggregation affect customers who have already switched electric suppliers or receive electricity from a cooperative?

Customers who already have selected an alternative supplier will remain with them. Cooperative customers are not able to receive electricity from alternative suppliers.

What happens if Ameren Illinois prices drop below the contract price while communities are under the contract?

A provision in the contracts would require the new energy supplier to match a lower rate from Ameren or to revert customers back to Ameren.

How many other communities have made this switch in Illinois?

According to the Illinois Commerce Commission, 264 communities have approved referendums, with most selecting an alternative supplier. There are 221 other communities with this kind of referendum on the ballot Nov. 6.

What will the consultant be paid?

If a new electric supplier is selected, the company will receive 0.075 cents per kilowatt hour. It receives nothing if referendums fail.

Will local governments make any money off aggregation?

Governments have the option to receive a small portion of the new rate, but area elected officials said they will not do that. However, this does not prevent local governments from receiving money in future contracts.


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