Community choice aggregation yields savings for Illinois electricity customers


John Kelly,
Executive Director,
Perfect Power Institute
Chicago, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 15, 2012 – More than 250 communities in Illinois have approved referendum measures that enable community choice aggregation (CCA), and more than 90 have negotiated rates that offer customers the opportunity to save up to 30 percent on their electricity bills, the Illinois Community Choice Aggregation Network (ICCAN) reported recently.

The most recent procurement contracts between communities and their new power suppliers feature energy rates that range from approximately 4 cents to 5 cents per kWh, with over half coming in at a low 4 cents. All are significantly less than the new default rate of about 8 cents.

A 3 cent rate reduction per kWh could yield a total savings per household of about $300 annually, or $300 million over a one-year period for all Illinois electricity customers in the program.

“Aggregation is a critical step toward putting power in the hands of the people,” said John Kelly, executive director of the Perfect Power Institute, one of the partners of ICCAN. “In negotiating with suppliers for better pricing plans, communities are simply adding electricity to the list of services they already manage, such as garbage and water. And because they choose their power supplier, communities can help address residents’ demands for cleaner power as well.”

According to the Local Energy Aggregation Network, which promotes CCA nationwide, Illinois is the fastest moving CCA state in the nation, with support for the program growing since enabling legislation was passed in 2009. In Illinois, when CCA is passed via referendum in a municipality, their customers are automatically enrolled, though they can opt out.

The CCA movement began in California, where it was passed into law in 2002. Today, CCA is enabled by law in Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, in addition to Illinois and California.

The ICCAN was formed as a partnership between The Galvin Center, LEAN Energy U.S. and the Perfect Power Institute to support Illinois municipalities pursuing CCA.