By Devin Rose
Village officials in River Forest have locked in an electricity supply price that they say is about 38 percent lower than ComEd's.
Residents who don't opt out of the aggregation program will pay 4.62 cents per kilowatt hour, said Assistant Village Administrator Michael Braiman. That price, from Integrys Energy Services, the village's alternative residential energy supplier, is locked in from September through June of 2013. Braiman said at that point, ComEd has contracts that will expire and their prices are expected to drop further.
"We believe we have received an extremely competitive rate and are excited to pass along this savings to our residents," Braiman said via email.
He added that rate is 3-5 percent lower when compared to larger municipal consortiums on the North Shore and in the northwest suburbs.
The three-year aggregation agreement with Integrys will allow the village to buy blocks of energy at lower prices, previously available only to large corporate consumers. But residents who don't want to make the change can check a box in a letter the company will mail out, said Joe Bullivant, the Integrys aggregation program manager for Illinois.
The two-week opt-out period begins July 5. A website specific to River Forest will be up and running by then that will inform residents about the program, and they'll have the option to opt out there as well. They can also use the website to join the program, or get information by calling a toll-free number staffed 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Bullivant said small businesses that use less than 15,000 kWh annually cannot participate in the program.
River Forest currently contracts with the company for electricity at its water pumping station. Oak Park approved a two-year agreement with them last year to purchase energy through 100 percent renewable energy credits, or RECs. River Foresters will be able to opt in for RECs at an extra charge.
Village staff have said the goal is to have the program in place by September. For more information, call 1-888-491-1371.