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Article updated: 5/9/2013 5:20 PM

Gurnee village board approves another electricity contract

Patrick Muetz

Patrick Muetz

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Gurnee has struck another deal with a company that will provide electricity at a cheaper rate than ComEd for homes and small businesses.

Village board trustees this week voted 6-0 in favor of a one-year contract with FirstEnergy Solutions at 5.12 cents per kilowatt hour. Gurnee's negotiated rate with FirstEnergy for the homes and small businesses is less expensive than ComEd's projected 6.02 cents per kilowatt hour, Village Administrator Patrick Muetz said.

A typical Gurnee homeowner can expect to save about $100 or 15 percent over a year by participating in the village's electrical aggregation program with FirstEnergy instead of going with ComEd, Muetz said.

FirstEnergy's inaugural contract with Gurnee started last July. It has been providing electricity for 4.4 cents per kilowatt hour.

Muetz said Gurnee's second contract has a difference that would benefit consumers. Gurnee secured the deal with assistance from the Prospect Heights-based Northern Illinois Municipal Electricity Collaborative.

"We were able to negotiate out the early termination fee, so anyone that takes service under FirstEnergy and decides that they don't want to participate through our program, they can get out of it with no penalty this time around," Muetz told the village board.

ComEd will continue to deliver power, bill customers and respond to outages.

Officials in Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Long Grove, Palatine, Vernon Hills and Wheeling each recently approved an amended intergovernmental agreement allowing them to again seek an alternate energy supplier to ComEd. Palatine Village Manager Reid Ottesen said the plan is to retain a consultant and negotiate with the current vendor, Integrys Energy Systems Inc.

Integrys, since last June 1, has been charging 4.77 cents per kilowatt hour to the small businesses and residents in those seven towns.

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