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updated: 11/25/2011 1:18 PM

Rolling Meadows planning electricity referendum

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  • Rolling Meadows is one of many municipalities considering asking voters for permission to solicit bids for electricity in hopes of obtaining lower rates for the residents and small businesses.

       Rolling Meadows is one of many municipalities considering asking voters for permission to solicit bids for electricity in hopes of obtaining lower rates for the residents and small businesses.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer file photo

 
 

Rolling Meadows will consider placing a referendum on the March ballot asking residents to approve an electric aggregation program, similar to many other suburbs, that could lead to lower power bills for residents and small businesses.

Aldermen agreed at Tuesday's committee-of-the-whole meeting that the city would like to get more information about an opt-out aggregate electricity program and propose the idea to residents.

Voters would have to approve the measure on March 20, granting the authority to the city to solicit competitive bids for electricity.

For residents, ComEd would still be responsible for service, billing and restoring power outages, but the energy would come from one of about 20 suppliers.

Currently, individual customers have the choice of buying power from an alternate supplier, at lower rates, or getting it from ComEd. By buying in the aggregate for a large number of customers, municipalities typically can get better rates than those offered the individual buyer. Residents who do not want to be participate in the municipal purchases program will have the option to opt out.

Neighboring suburbs Arlington Heights and Palatine have joined with Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Long Grove, Wheeling and Vernon Hills to go together to purchase electricity if voters approve.

Officials from Rolling Meadows said they haven't yet decided if the city will join that group of suburbs.

"Everyone is going through this in a different way, but near the end is when we might get together on this," said City Manager Barry Krumstok.

Mayor Tom Rooney said more suburbs will discuss whether to join together after aggregate buying of electricity either does or doesn't pass in referendums in the various towns next spring.

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