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Towns May Negotiate Better Electrical Rates

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Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2012 12:01 am

Voters in Hillsboro, Schram City and Coffeen will get a chance to decide in November if they want to pool their purchasing power and have their municipalities negotiate a better electrical rate.

These three communities in Montgomery County passed ordinances to put a question on the November ballot to give each community authority to arrange the supply of electricity for residential and small commercial retail customers within each one's corporate limits. All three communities have selected Rock River Energy Services as their energy consultant to help assist during the process.

The process known as municipal electrical aggregation gives municipalities, townships or counties the authority to negotiate for the purchase of the combined electric supply of its residents and eligible small businesses. Over 80 municipalities in Ameren Illinois territory have already begun power flow with alternative retail electrical suppliers, and their residents are lowering their costs over Ameren Illinois' current rates.

Anyone who does not want to participate in the program will be able to opt out of the process. Power would continue to be delivered by Ameren Illinois as they do not generate the power. As a result, Ameren Illinois will not lose money if a resident went with a community aggregation program.

The deadline for communities, townships and counties to pass an ordinance to place the referendum on this November's ballot was Aug. 20, but anyone interested may look at the spring consolidated election.

In order to have the referendum on the spring ballot, an ordinance must be passed by Jan. 22. Anyone interested in more information about getting the referendum on their ballot may contact Rock River Energy Services at 815-732-4603.

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