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updated: 3/20/2014 2:37 PM

Electricity cost going up 17% in Buffalo Grove

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  • Buffalo Grove will have a new provider of electricity come June, but it will still be transmitted to homes and businesses over transmission lines like these operated by ComEd.

       Buffalo Grove will have a new provider of electricity come June, but it will still be transmitted to homes and businesses over transmission lines like these operated by ComEd.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 

Buffalo Grove has locked in a new supplier for electrical aggregation for the next three years, with the price for power going up about 17 percent starting in June.

And unlike some other towns in the consortium that signed the deal, Buffalo Grove didn't opt for 100 percent renewable energy, though residents can choose that option at an additional 1.4 percent cost per kilowatt hour.

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Deputy Village Manager Jennifer Maltas told the village board Monday that Buffalo Grove reached a three-year deal with Constellation Energy Resources at a rate of 6.529 cents per kilowatt hour.

"It was the lowest fixed-price we could obtain over the period," Maltas said. "The price for electricity is rising for all customers, and it's largely due to changes in how capacity is charged, and that is going to be something that impacts every electricity provider, including ComEd."

To enroll in the renewable energy program at a rate of 6.621 cents per kilowatt hour, customers must call Constellation directly at (800) 718-1493.

Constellation is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corp., the parent company of ComEd, which will continue to transmit the power and send the bills. For the last two years, Buffalo Grove got its power from Integrys Energy Group. The other towns in the consortium are Arlington Heights, Lincolnshire, Long Grove, Palatine, Vernon Hills and Wheeling.

Maltas pointed out that the village receives no revenue from the deal. She said the village is prohibited by the Illinois Commerce Commission from stating in letters to residents how much the user would save compared to the ComEd rate.

But David Hoover, the executive director of the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Cooperative, which was the consultant on the deal and represents about 130 municipalities, did offer some estimates.

In 2012, the savings was about 35 percent. That dropped to 25 percent last year, according to Hoover. "Now, we're looking at single-digit savings," he said.

ComEd has come closer to the market price after shedding more expensive long-term power contracts, Hoover said.

Buffalo Grove residents will be automatically enrolled in the aggregation program unless they opt out. Opt-out information has been mailed to eligible Buffalo Grove residences and small business locations. Anyone electing not to participate must opt out by March 26.

There are four ways to opt out:

• Return the mailed opt-out form in the pre-addressed, stamped envelope.

• Fax the opt-out form to (866) 422-6233.

• Call Constellation at (800) 718-1493.

• Visit home.constellation.com/optout.

Customers can opt out at no cost. However, if a customer chooses to opt out and does not secure an alternative provider, their service will default to ComEd for the next 12 months.

Questions about service from Constellation should be directed to (800) 718-1493.

Daily Herald staff writer Mick Zawislak contributed to this report.

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