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updated: 5/9/2013 4:32 PM

Northwest suburbs expect more energy savings for residents

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A group of Northwest suburbs that banded together last year to acquire electricity for their residents and small businesses will save more than 8 percent over ComEd's published price over the next 12 months, a Buffalo Grove official said this week.

The Northwest Suburban Electric Consortium -- whose membership includes Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Long Grove, Palatine, Vernon Hills and Wheeling -- has struck a deal with Integrys Energy Services to provide the communities with electricity for 12 months beginning in June.

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The communities formed the consortium last year after voters in each town approved referendums allowing municipal leaders to pool their electrical demand and seek the best possible rate from providers.

Integrys, which also was the consortium's provider last year, will charge about 5.6 cents per kilowatt hour for 100 percent renewable energy, and 5.6 cents for a traditional electricity supply, Buffalo Grove Village Manager Dane Bragg said. The difference amounts to about $7 annually, though residents would have to specifically "opt-out" of the default renewable energy plan.

By the middle of this month, Integrys will send letters to all residential and small commercial account holders in the communities to inform them of the pricing and renewable energy offers.

Residents who do not wish to participate may opt-out of the program at no fee by sending in a postage-paid post card, calling a toll-free number or opting out online. Residents who do nothing will be automatically enrolled in the program under the 100-percent renewable supply offer.

Officials said residents should carefully consider all options before signing up for electric service, particularly through an alternate provider, and be sure to review fixed versus variable pricing, cancellation fees and other base or service charges that may apply.

For additional information about Integrys Energy Services, to opt-in to the aggregation program or to switch from renewable to traditional electricity, call Integrys at (877) 585-3432.

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