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Hearing Tuesday for City's 'Opt In' Electric Program

The city is negotiating a deal through which residents will be able to save 40 percent on their electricity bills, but they must sign an agreement to change electric providers.

A public hearing will be held Tuesday to get input and provide information on 's plan to let residents "opt in" to a program through which their electric bills will be cut by about 40 percent.

Although voters rejected the referendum that would have given all residents and small business owners the savings automatically via the contract negotiated through the Will County Governmental League, city officials are making a deal in which those .

However, anyone who wants to participate will need to sign an "opt in" agreement in which they agree to drop ComEd as their electricity provider in favor of a two-year deal with FirstEnergy Solutions. ComEd would continue to issue bills, provide line maintenance and deal with power outages.

The public hearing will be at 4 p.m. in the planning conference room at
, 150 W. Jefferson St.

A second public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 8, during the city council's regularly scheduled meeting in the Little Theater of , 201 E. Jefferson St.

The city described electrical aggregation this way in a press release on the hearing:

"Electric aggregation is a program that allows local governments to bundle or 'aggregate' residential and small commercial retail electric accounts and seek bids for a most cost effective supply of power. Currently, ComEd customers receive electricity at a price set each year by the Illinois Power Agency, a governmental body that secures electricity on the wholesale market on behalf of ComEd. By
bundling residential and small commercial accounts, municipalities can go out into the open market to seek a lower rate for electrical supply."

Residents and eligible business owners will receive a letter on city letterhead explaining the program and providing a form through which they can sign on to the program.

The city council is expected to review and take action on the plan at the Sept. 18 meeting. A copy of the plan is available in the city's clerk's office and at www.cityofjoliet.info.

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Ray September 16, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I'm leery of this. I did it with the gas company and got hammered with huge bills over two winters and ended up back with Nicor. On a more nonsensical note but also very possible here in Illinois. What if we all sign up for this, Com Ed goes out of business or bankrupt, and then the state bails them out? Then we'd be paying twice and getting hammered in the checkbook again. LOL.
Grandma Says September 17, 2012 at 01:28 AM
I have had another electric supply provider for over a year now and my bills are averaging $30-$40 less per month than they were before. The electric provider that Joliet is signing on with comes in a little less per kwh than I am now paying. If you don't want to save $300-$400 + per year on your electric bills, then I would say opt-out.

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