Keep talking, we're listening, and go green!

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I am moved by the impassioned opposition to the village board's recent decision on energy aggregation. I have read all of your emails (although I may not have had the opportunity to personally respond), and I have taken your positions to heart.

This should be, and will continue to be, an ongoing dialogue as we move forward. Your voices and actions will be taken into consideration when future energy decisions are made (no matter who is on the village board), so please, keep talking!

Because this was a difficult vote, I wanted to share two of the major factors I considered in my vote:

1) A focus on economic diversity. A more expensive plan (even at $5 per month, and possibly more), would disproportionately affect less economically advantaged households in Oak Park. On one extreme, some individuals on Social Security take home as little as $721 per month. But even middle-income families have to be mindful of every dollar in order to keep up with Oak Park costs of living. If our village strives for economic diversity as I believe it does, we should be cautious about policies that impose costs disproportionately on less economically advantaged households.

2) Everyone can still go green! This was unquestionably the determining factor in my vote. Those of us who can absorb the cost of green energy still can! We have the option to go green. I am personally committed to educating residents how to opt for a cleaner energy alternative.

To the latter point, I think the best way Oak Parkers can show their commitment to green energy is to choose a green energy provider this time around. If the vast majority of us do so, then this decision should be much easier the next time around. So please, Go Green!

Andrea Ott

Village trustee

Reader Comments

8 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 3:33 AM

@Joe, Thank you for the info. I want to learn more about Green Mountain. I'll do more digging, but from what I've read so far on their website, this company appears to be one I'd like to support. They are the U.S.'s longest-serving renewable energy retailer. (FYI: The 6.9-cent rate is for 6 months. For a 12-month fixed rate, it's 7.9 cents, and you get a swanky Nest "learning" thermostat, controllable from your smartphone, and a $50 credit to Green Mountain's online store of energy-saving items.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 12:06 AM

if anyone is interested, CUB has a really nice resource that lists all the electric suppliers.(http://www.citizensutilityboard.org/ciElectric_cubfacts_alternativesuppliers.html) you can shop for which ever price you like. Many are cheaper than the village's plan. green mountain is even offering a 6.9 cent per kWh wind plan for those that want 'green' energy. I think I'm going to go with north american power's 5.99 cent per kWh fixed rate plan that has a 75% fossil fuel and 25% 'green' mix.

Mary Unbehauen Rodrigo from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 21st, 2014 11:40 PM

I too support the village board on this. To me this is a win-win for all.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 21st, 2014 10:25 PM

I too support the decision of the Board, and understand their rationale, particularly under the circumstances they were under. What is troubling to me, and maybe this is a "blessing in disguise," is that it has exposed something wrong with these aggregation auctions. Why did another town, just days earlier, get a lower bid for green than Oak Park did? Why didn't Constellation offer a green bid in the auction? Do companies feel Oak Park will pay whatever price, in order to "be green?"

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 21st, 2014 10:16 PM

@Steve, the vote was originally supposed to be at the regular meeting, Mon night. There was a mess-up w/ the auction that only generated one bid. So the Board agreed to rerun the auction. The challenge was that it needed to be done that week, in order not to default back to ComEd. But it had to be at least 48 hours to allow for the public to be informed. So the auction was run on Thursday, as was announced at the Monday meeting, and they met on Friday.

Susan from Oak Park  

Posted: April 21st, 2014 9:14 PM

I fully support your decision on this for the sake of all Oak Parkers. My family can afford the extra money for green, but many are not that fortunate. Thank you for a win win vote.

Oak Park Tea Party  

Posted: April 21st, 2014 9:05 PM

Andrea - the Oak Park Tea Party fully endorses this rational decision.

Steve from Oak park, il  

Posted: April 21st, 2014 7:11 PM

Why was the vote held at 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning?

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