Following the passage of a March 2012 voter referendum, the Village of South Barrington contracted to procure electric supply in a municipal electric aggregation program for residents and small businesses. The Village had achieved a cumulative savings over $1.5 million from program inception to August of last year, with the average participating ratepayer saving $1,129 on their power costs.
The Village suspended the program in 2017 as the savings margin had dissipated. The Village recently again sought competitive bids from multiple suppliers to test the market for opportunities. The Village established a program with MC Squared Energy Services whereby residents and small businesses will be charged the ComEd rate (but never higher) and will enjoy the added benefit of 100% Wind Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for the South Barrington Green Aggregation Community, at zero added cost. The program is for twelve months, October 2018 to October 2019.
Background: The cost of serving each electric account varies greatly, depending on usage patterns. Some ratepayer accounts will remain at ComEd supply service because the cost of generation for the usage profile for that meter exceeds the ComEd rate. Others will be switched to the new supplier, MC Squared Energy Services, and will pay the same ComEd rate. MC Squared will purchase RECs for all ratepayers in the South Barrington Aggregation Community, whether remaining on ComEd supply, or moving to MC Squared.
As such, some ratepayers will receive notice that their service will remain on ComEd supply. These ratepayers will continue to be participants in the South Barrington Aggregation Community, even while at ComEd supply service.
Some ratepayers will receive notice their service is being switched to MC Squared. A few weeks later, they will receive a letter from ComEd titled “Electric Supplier Choice Confirmation,” indicating their switch to MC Squared supply service.
Every resident and small business in the South Barrington Aggregation Community, whether receiving service from ComEd or from MC Squared, will be participants of the South Barrington 100% Green Aggregation. The notices will be mail dropped on August 27, 2018.
The program will reduce carbon emissions by approximately 15,000 tons annually. RECs purchased for the Village’s energy consumption will be sourced from wind power generators located in the Midwest. The Green-E audited certificates have oversight by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
There is never an enrollment fee, an early termination fee, nor any added monthly fees.
1. What is the ComEd rate?
The summer ComEd rate is 7.358¢ per kWh and will rise to 7.941¢ beginning October. This is comprised of electricity supply, transmission services and the Purchased Electricity Adjustment (PEA) that varies monthly. The same ComEd rate including the PEA charge or credit, will be charged to all participants in the South Barrington Community Aggregation, whether enrolled with MC Squared or whether receiving supply service via ComEd. To learn more about rates, visit pluginillinois.org, the site created by the Illinois Commerce Commission to inform ratepayers.
2. Where does green energy come from?
Wind generation sites are the primary source of renewable green energy in the State of Illinois, followed by solar, hydro, and methane gas from landfills. Nuclear and natural gas are not considered renewable green resources for power generation.
3. If we buy 100% green energy, will our homes be powered by the actual electricity that is generated by windmills, solar, hydro, etc.?
The power grid maintained by ComEd that serves your community cannot route specific power directly to your home. Those who purchase green power typically pay a premium to support green energy through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). RECs subsidize the cost of those companies that actually generate the green/renewable power.
4. How can we be certain we are buying green / renewable power?
When a power supplier sells a “green energy” product in the marketplace, that supplier is required to purchase and retire RECs to support their green products. The supplier must document and report those transactions to State and Federal agencies.
5. Are RECs legitimate?
Yes. RECs represent the benefits and attributes of renewable green energy. As energy is generated, the generation owners sell the RECs, which are numbered within an audited tracking system. RECs may be resold and only used once and then must be retired. Anyone who claims they purchase renewable power either has on-site renewable generation such solar panels or a windmill directly hooked up to their home, or they must purchase RECs to support green power development.
6. How can I enroll in the program?
During the initial three-week opt out period, you need do nothing if you received a notice at your ComEd billing address; you will automatically be enrolled unless you opt out. The notice will detail whether your account will be switched to ComEd or to MC Squared. You need do nothing, and your power consumption will be offset by Renewable Energy Credits, sourced from wind generation in the Midwest.
7. What is an eligible resident or small commercial account?
Any resident who is currently with ComEd and has not already switched to an Alternative Retail Electric Supplier (ARES) or who is not enrolled in a special Residential Real-Time Pricing (RRTP) program is eligible, and small commercial accounts are eligible. You must also have a residence or business located within the Village limits.
8. What if I don’t want to participate?
You may opt out before the program begins. You may leave the program after it begins, and you will never incur a fee. However, you will still be considered a participant of the South Barrington 100% Green Aggregation Community.
9. Why is the Village doing this?
A Municipal Electric Aggregation Program was approved by a simple majority in a 2012 voter Referendum allowing the Village to seek pricing from an ARES for residents and small commercial accounts. The Village is committed to environmental sustainability, and in this instance, there is zero additional cost to procure green energy for the Village’s residents–a win-win.
10. Will I get two bills, one from ComEd and another from the new supplier?
No. ComEd will continue to bill you for electric supply, delivery and taxes.
11. Whom do I call if I have service problems?
Always call ComEd with reports of outages or downed power lines at 800-334-7661. For questions about your supply, you can call the customer service number for Constellation. This will be listed under “Electric Supply Services” on your ComEd bill.
12. If I am automatically enrolled in the program now, can I leave the program at any time?
Yes, you can later leave the program and move your account back to ComEd or another Supplier. There is no early termination fee to leave.
13. I’m on ComEd’s budget billing plan. Will that change? Can I still have my payment automatically deduced from my checking account as I do now?
Your participation in the budget billing plan won’t change. The way you pay your ComEd bill will not change.
14. Will someone come to my home or call to sign me up?
No. You need do nothing to automatically be enrolled in the program. If someone calls or visits your home claiming to be the Village’s power supplier you may file a complaint with the ICC at http://www.icc.illinois.gov/consumer/complaint.
For more information about energy supply choices, visit the ICC site at pluginillinois.org.
For questions about your electric account, do not call Village Hall; call South Barrington’ aggregation program supplier, MC Squared, at 855-745-9989. If you require additional assistance, call NIMEC at 800-727-3820 to leave your question and callback number. You will be contacted within 24 hours regarding the issue.
To report an electrical outage, or for questions pertaining to your ComEd bill, call ComEd at 800-334-7661.
Village of South Barrington 30 S Barrington Road South Barrington, IL 60010 Village Hall Office Hours: 8 am - 4 pm 847.381.7510 / Fax 847.381.0024 / firstname.lastname@example.org Police Dept Office Hours: 8 am - 4 pm 847.381.7511 / Fax 847.381.0929 / email@example.com