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posted: 4/5/2014 8:00 AM

Hanover Park electricity rates expected to increase

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The average Hanover Park homeowner has pocketed more than $200 in savings since the village adopted an electrical aggregation plan.

But future savings are projected to slide as the village's consultant, the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Cooperative, prepares to negotiate the lowest rates it can get from power source providers.

That outlook is playing out in other suburbs. Officials anticipate increasing prices partly because a federal regulatory commission will raise charges for the oversight of a regional grid.

The market also is driving the increase, electrical cooperative Executive Director David Hoover said.

Hanover Park voters signed off on electrical aggregation in the March 2012 primary. Since then, the village has gone out to bid on its own rather than teaming up with a consortium of towns. Hanover Park officials have approved one-year deals with two different providers: FirstEnergy Solutions and then Verde Energy USA.

The move has generated more than $1.7 million in savings villagewide from September 2012 to February 2014, officials say. The average single-family homeowner saved $227 during that period.

The Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Cooperative should start seeking bids in May after ComEd releases its rates. The village board is set to vote April 17 on a measure that allows the cooperative to move forward with the process.

"We don't have guarantees anymore that we're going to actually beat ComEd for every single month for the whole term," Hoover told the village board this week. Hoover expects ComEd's rates to increase to 7.2 cents or more per kilowatt hour from about 5.5 cents per kilowatt hour. The utility company will reset rates June 1 and has the ability to do so again in the fall.

Hanover Park's current rate stands at 5.556 cents per kilowatt hour. Residents and small-businesses owners can opt out of the electrical aggregation program.

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