Electrical Aggregation Passes: What to Expect Next
The city will hold two hearings over the next couple of weeks to kick off the bid process for lower electric rates.
Now that the electrical aggregation referendum has passed, Darien officials plan to act quickly to secure electric rates, Assistant City Administrator Scott Coren said Wednesday.
If everything goes as planned, City Council will vote on a plan as well as an ordinance accepting the referendum at the April 2 meeting. The city hopes to be able to go out to bid shortly after that, Coren said.
“The faster we move it, the sooner residents will start saving money, so we’re trying to put it on the fast track,” he said.
The referendum passed Tuesday with 63.46 percent of the vote.
Even before the election, Coren said the city began discussing its bidding options with Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative, a co-op comprising roughly 150 municipalities.
NIMEC will negotiate electric rates on behalf of Darien residents with the goal of securing a bulk discount. Communities that passed similar referenda last year have seen a savings of as much as 30 percent, the city has said. The supplier will pay NIMEC a cut of each kilowatt hour Darien residents use.
After the city selects an energy supplier, residents will get a letter asking whether they want to opt out of the program. If they choose to opt out, ComEd will continue to supply their power. The city also has the option to stick with ComEd if it ends up offering the lowest rates.
Coren said in February that he hoped the process would be complete in time for residents to see savings on their July electric bills. ComEd will continue to distribute Darien’s power.
This is the second time Darien residents have voted on electrical aggregation. The measure failed during the April 2011 consolidated election with 51.37 percent of residents voting against it.
City officials decided to revisit the question after residents said they wanted to give the referendum another look.