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updated: 8/10/2012 10:40 PM

Lakemoor decides against electric aggregation question

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Lakemoor residents will remain on their own if they want an alternative power supplier, as the village board has decided not to put the question on the November ballot.

Lakemoor trustees on Thursday voted 4-1 against an ordinance that would have authorized the question of whether voters wanted the village to have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity.

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"I think one of the main issues is they don't want government involved in people's lives," Village Administrator David Alarcon said. "They said people have options right now." The last day for a governing board to adopt a resolution or ordinance to put a public question on the ballot is Aug. 20 and the last day to have it certified by a county clerk is Aug. 30.

"Without (the village) doing anything, the residents have the option," Trustee Jeff Nykaza said. "Why not leave it alone?"

Lakemoor is split between Lake and McHenry counties.

As of Friday afternoon, Fox Lake, which is in a similar geographic situation, is the only entity to have the question of what is known as electrical aggregation placed on the ballot in McHenry County. In Lake County, Fox Lake will be on the ballot and Hawthorn Woods and Lake Barrington are also expected to be certified upon the receipt of some paper work.

Aggregation has become a popular measure for communities or consortiums of communities looking to save a promised 20 percent or more on their electric supply, which accounts for about two-thirds of a typical bill.

Last March, measures giving local officials the authority to negotiate for an alternative power supply on behalf of residents and small businesses passed in a majority of about 300 communities throughout Illinois.

Mayor Todd Weihofen, who votes only to break ties, said he personally was "very cautious" about aggregation.

"The village board feels everybody in town has the option to opt in, if they wish to, on their own," he said. "The general feeling of the board is less government."

Information regarding alternative energy suppliers, prices and other information is available from the Citizens Utility Board, a consumer group.

In Fox Lake, trustees in late July decided to put the measure on the Nov. 6 ballot. Village officials said residents possibly could see better rates while negotiating as a unit rather than individually.

That also is the opinion of the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative, an aggregation consultant that has worked with many municipalities.

"The economies of scale are enormous," said Sharon Durling, marketing director. "It's like buying wholesale versus retail." She said the average annual savings for households in aggregation programs is about $350.

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