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updated: 4/4/2014 9:04 AM

Lombard turns down all proposals for new electricity rate

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To ensure competitive electricity rates for residents, the Lombard village board rejected all proposals for new rates that were received by various electricity suppliers Thursday afternoon.

In April 2012, voters approved a measure that allowed village officials to negotiate electric rates on their behalf. Soon after, the board approved a 24-month term with First Energy at a rate of 4.64 cents per kilowatt hour.

That rate -- which applied to all residents and small businesses that didn't opt out of the electric aggregation program -- saved nearly $3.4 million in the first 15 months, or about $246 per household, according to village officials.

Now, with the contract set to expire this July, the village is researching electricity pricing again.

What has changed since last time, however, is ComEd's rate, which dropped last year. Officials say the rate is expected to decrease again in June, to somewhere around 7 cents per kilowatt hour, making them more competitive than two years ago.

"The pricing that we received today does not show any savings in comparison to the projected ComEd rates," Village Manager Scott Niehaus said during Thursday's meeting. "We want to make sure that we have a lot of flexibility for our citizens and we're not going to lock them into a rate which ComEd might end up beating in the future."

The board unanimously agreed to reject the bids received Thursday and to put out another request for rate proposals sometime before May 20, at which time they might know more about ComEd's future rate.

Niehaus said if no bidder beats the projected ComEd rate, the village will likely revert to using ComEd sometime in June. He added that village staff will gather more detailed information by mid-May about what will occur if the village doesn't receive a proposal lower than ComEd so residents can be informed about any changes as soon as possible.

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