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updated: 5/10/2012 8:15 PM

Few speak at Mt. Prospect hearing on electrical aggregation

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Only two residents spoke Tuesday at the first of two hearings on Mount Prospect's plan for electrical aggregation. In the recent primary election, village residents approved looking for a cheaper electricity supplier for small commercial, residential and retail customers.

One resident asked why Mount Prospect had not joined with its neighbors in a consortium.

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Assistant Village Manager David Strahl repeated what he has stated publicly before, that the village learned of the consortium through the newspapers when it had already been concluded.

He presented the plan of operation and governance, which is a necessary step in the process, which will include sending out a request for proposals to potential suppliers.

Strahl touched upon some aspects of what might be included in that proposal, including the length of the contract and the use of green energy options, such as wind power.

One important point that was brought out was the importance of getting a bid that did not contain an opt-out fee for customers who did not wish to participate. There is a 14-day period for opting out. Strahl said the period was kept narrow to guarantee favorable pricing.

Trustee Arlene Juracek suggested a change related to who is on the eligible retail customer list provided by ComEd. The draft of the plan said customers who are on ComEd's electric heat rate would be removed from the list.

Juracek noted that the electric heat rate is a subsidized rate that is going to be gradually phased out, and she suggested the village eliminate or footnote that provision.

"You may just want to compare ComEd's electric heat rate with the standard offer that the supplier is making," she said. "It has been suggested to me that, depending on the nature of that rate that they offer that there may be some benefit to electric heat customers."

The second hearing will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, in the community center on the ground floor of village hall.

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