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updated: 6/11/2014 4:56 PM

Glen Ellyn picks new energy supplier

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By Safiya Merchant

Many Glen Ellyn residents will get a new energy supplier starting in August along with roughly a 50 percent price increase.

The village board voted 4-3 this week to work with FirstEnergy to provide residents and small businesses an alternative electricity supplier to ComEd.

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The new rate, at 7.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, is about 50 percent higher than the previous rate with Verde Energy USA, which clocked in at 4.981 cents. Verde's latest bid, however, came in higher than FirstEnergy's.

One of the components of the new three-year agreement is that the village can opt out as a whole if ComEd rates ever fall below FirstEnergy's prices.

Glen Ellyn will start using FirstEnergy in August, Assistant Village Manager Al Stonitsch said.

The new rate comes with 100 percent green energy. With that feature, the price comes out slightly higher, with the additional money supporting green energy across the nation, Stonitsch said.

Not everyone thinks that's a good idea.

"The more I've looked into it and the more people I've talked to who are in the energy industry, the more skeptical I've become on whether we're actually doing anything by spending the extra (money), other than sort of a feel-good thing," Trustee Tim Elliott said. "I just don't think we're doing anything to contribute to the environment ..."

Trustee Dean Clark said he fears the higher price is essentially paying for green energy that is going somewhere else.

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