The City of Chicago Follows Suit: Vies for Lower Electricity Prices Through Municipal Aggregation


Chicago Electricity Aggregation on the BallotAnd here I thought the city of Chicago was pretty progressive. Boy, was I wrong! At least when it comes to saving money on electricity, that is. According to Crain’s, it seems that the city is FINALLY taking steps to consider alternatives to ComEd for electricity supply. (I’d say “late to the party” is a bit of an understatement; you arrived just in time for the walk o’ shame, Chicago.)

The suburbs have clearly taken the lead on the energy front, enabling their residents to aggregate their electricity for a significantly lower rate over ComEd’s supply prices. They will be able to take advantage of lower rates through these blistering summer months, when electricity usage is at its highest. Meanwhile, Chicago will be left in the dust. The hot, expensive dust.

Well, for now, that is. Evidently, the city council met on Friday and gave it the official go-ahead to place a vote on the ballot in November:

“I’ll ask for it to be put on the ballot and I will advocate for it because I believe it will lead to lower utility rates for our residents,” the mayor said. “It has worked in other places.”

You think? Unfortunately, if approved by voters, it’s likely the savings will not take effect until early 2013 and by then, ComEd’s long-term energy contracts will have expired and their rates will be much more competitive with those being offered by alternative energy suppliers. Time is of the essence, Chicago.

On top of that — and never mind that the use of the word “juices” in this headline makes my skin crawl (what does that even mean?) — the real news is not even mentioned in this article: That you can switch your electricity supplier all by your happy little self right now and start saving well before 2013. Why wait when you can lock in a low fixed rate today, just as you crank up the A/C to beat the heat? (It’s mid-June, people — it’s only going to get worse!)

In any case, it’s all well and good that people can switch electricity suppliers and save money. But what about the people who will be spending more for electricity? Isn’t that pretty significant?? If Chicago does aggregate, its departure will account for about 1/3 of ComEd’s customer base. ComEd will need to recoup those losses somewhere, and guess who gets to pay for it?? Yep, their remaining customers. Are you going to be one of them? Are you going to stand by the sidelines, waiting for the city to make up your mind for you… or are you going join the smart energy movement and switch NOW, when the real savings are here for the taking?




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