If you live in River Forest and pay a monthly residential electric bill to ComEd, be aware of how you can both save and lose money by not opting out of electricity aggregation. Your total monthly payment would have been about 16.63% less for June if RF's new electricity supplier, Integrys, were already on board for that period (it was not). The savings with Integrys will increase even more when ComEd raises its rates in October (see www.pluginillinois.org/FixedRateBreakdownComEd.aspx). That's the good news.
However, each electricity customer needs to carefully review the terms and conditions of the contract, which can be found at www.integrysenergy.com/aggregation/illinois/RiverForest-Terms-Conditions.pdf. Item 7 includes a $25 penalty for terminating Integrys' supply services before the mandatory 10 billing cycles are over in June 2013. RF needs to eliminate that penalty from future contracts. The need to terminate might arise if ComEd lowers its "price to compare" rate to less than that of Integys' rate of 4.621 cents/kWh before June 2013.
Unlike other communities, the village failed to negotiate an automatic ComEd "price match" clause into its contract with Integrys to ensure we always pay the lowest possible price. That needs to be corrected and is disappointing, given that, according to Village Administrator Eric Palm, RF paid $4,300 in consultant costs to arrange the lowest possible rates.
The village administrator concedes that RF has no plan for this contingency, such as ensuring that we can opt back in without paying a penalty after our current contract ends in June 2013. Folks who opt in to the Integrys program now will have to decide by the end of April 2013 whether to stay with Integrys for the next contractual period. That may be months before ComEd announces how deeply it will cut rates in June 2013, which it will certainly do, so we may not be able to make an informed choice between Integrys and ComEd before Integrys' 2013 deadline.
RF made another mistake when it sent out a Request for Proposals (RFP) to firms like Integrys and Constellation Energy this spring. The RFP failed to ask for the "price to compare" rate that each firm would actually charge us if RF hired them. This means they lost the opportunity to get the lowest price, 4.056 cents/kWh, which Bannockburn and Kildeer arranged jointly with Constellation Energy (see www.villageofkildeer.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/12-04-07-Yearly-Saving-Illustration.pdf and www.citizensutilityboard.org/news20120625_MuniAggSavings.html. That's about 7.53 percent cheaper than our rate with Integrys.
Would you please keep all these suggestions in mind next time, Mr. Palm? We are grateful for the savings you did arrange. Next time, we would like to save as much as Bannockburn and Kildeer, if possible, please.