Hawthorn Woods may bring electrical aggregation to November referendum
With lower electric bills in sight, Hawthorn Woods plans to follow in the footsteps of its neighbors by offering electrical aggregation to residents.
At a finance committee meeting Tuesday night, committee members unanimously recommended to the village board to place a municipal electrical aggregation referendum question on the Nov. 6 ballot. The proposal will go before the full board for a vote on Monday, July 16.
Kristin Kazenas, the village's chief financial officer, said officials have been researching the aggregation question for about a year and determined it would be a positive recommendation to bring to residents.
"It makes sense to move forward as soon as possible, especially because so many neighboring communities have been successful with this," Kazenas said.
Last year, the village ran a pilot program with the Hawthorn Woods Aquatic Center to test the success of electrical aggregation. Bidding out the electricity to various vendors over ComEd, the center experienced a savings of 21 percent.
As a collaborative unit, residents who are currently unable to change power suppliers, could see better rates with electrical aggregation.
"Obviously the suppliers are going to bid more competitively when they're bidding for all the homes of Hawthorn Woods over just one," Kazenas said. "It's a volume count."
Mayor Joseph Mancino said with the approval of electrical aggregation, the village would negotiate for electrical power from a third party supplier at reduced costs per wattage used. This cost savings would be passed on to the residential customers.
"Each resident would have the opportunity to simply opt out of the program," Mancino said, if residents didn't want to switch suppliers.
If the board approves of the ordinance Monday, the village will utilize the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative (NIMEC), an electric purchasing coop of 140 municipal and governmental entities, to educate residents and inform residents what their potential savings would be.
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