Municipal Electric Aggregation Referendum– Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Municipal Electric Aggregation?
A: In a Municipal Electric Aggregation program, local officials bring residents as well as small businesses with an annual peak energy consumption of 15,000 kWh together to form a buying group for the purchase of competitively priced electricity from an Illinois licensed retail electric supplier.
Q: How is the Village able to choose a certified retail electric supplier on my behalf?
A: On November 6, 2012, more than 60% of Carol Stream voters who cast a ballot on the referendum petition voted ‘YES’ thereby providing the Village government authority to act as an agent on behalf of its residents and small businesses to secure bundled electric supply on the competitive market.
Q: Who is the Retail Electric Supplier for Carol Stream’s Municipal Electric Aggregation Program?
A: Through a competitive bidding process, the Village selected First Energy as the Retail Electric Supplier. On November 19, 2012, the Village Board approved a power supply agreement with First Energy of Ohio to supply electricity for the Village’s electric aggregation program for 24 months at a fixed price of 5.313₵ per kilowatt hour, which includes a 100% renewable energy mix.
Q: How can I be sure I will save money by joining the Village’s Electric Aggregation program?
A: Actual savings amount will be dependent on individual usage, but it is estimated that a typical residential consuming on average 750 kWh a month can save approximately $26 a month through May 2013 or 40%. This savings is based on First Energy’s fixed supply rate of 5.313₵ per kilowatt hour compared to the Com-Ed default rate of 8.82₵ (October 2012- May 2013).
Q: When will sign up for the Village’s Municipal Electric Aggregation Program begin?
A: The Village’s Electric Aggregation program is an ‘opt out’ program which means that if you do not exclude yourself from the aggregation customer pool in writing, you will be enrolled by default. The 60-day opt-out period will begin in early December 2012 and continue into January 2013 and gives residential and small business customers an opportunity to remain with their current electric supplier whether that is Com-Ed or an alternate retail supplier. First Energy will begin switching customers over beginning in mid-February and into March of 2013.
Q: How do I join the Village’s Electric Aggregation Program?
A: Customers receiving an ‘Opt Out’ notice who want to join don’t need to do anything as you will automatically be enrolled at the close of the ‘opt out’ period.
Q: Can I join the Village’s electric aggregation program if I am currently under contract with a retail electric supplier?
A: Yes, however you must wait until the 60-day ‘Opt Out’ period begins before cancelling your retail electric supply contract. In addition, because you most likely were excluded from the account mailing list, you will need to contact First Energy by phone at (888) 254-6359 to sign up. Do not wait for an ‘opt out’ notice as you will not be receiving one. If you fail to personally join the aggregation program within the 60-day opt out period, your electric supply will likely revert back (bundled hold) to Com-Ed for an entire year. In making the decision to switch, residents and small businesses should first inquire with their current electric supplier to see if they charge an early termination fee.
Q: Can I join the Village’s Aggregation program after the initial enrollment period?
A: Yes. Any resident or small business who meets the eligibility requirements for the Village’s electric aggregation program can join at any time as First Energy does not charge a fee for late enrollment.
Q: Will my participation in Com-Ed’s Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP), Budget Billing or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program be effected by joining the aggregation program?
A: Since First Energy will utilize ComEd to provide consolidated billing service for the aggregation program, the status of PIPP, Budget Billing and LIHEAP customers will not be effected.
Q: If I am enrolled on ComEd’s electric space heat program, will I be included in the aggregation program?
A: Yes. While Com-Ed already provides a subsidized rate for homes and businesses that use electric heat, those same customers are included in the aggregation program at a savings rate of 30%.
Q: If I do not want to join the Village’s electric aggregation program, how do I make that known?
A: Residents and small business owners who do not want to join the aggregation program will have two opportunities to formally state their intention. An opt-out notice will be mailed to the billing address of Com-Ed residential and small business accounts in Carol Stream requiring them to check a box if they do not want to participate in the aggregation program. Opt out notices must then be mailed back in enough time for it to get postmarked before the official notification deadline.
Q: Will every Village resident and small business receive an opt-out notice?
A: No. Customers who are currently enrolled in an alternate retail supply program or who participate in Com-Ed’s Residential Real-Time Pricing Program (RRTP) or are on ‘bundled hold’ because they recently returned to Com-Ed after being with a different supplier will not receive an ‘opt out’ notice.
Q: What happens if I do not mail back the opt-out form?
A: Residents and eligible small businesses who do not mail back their opt-out form will be automatically enrolled in the Village’s municipal aggregation program and begin receiving competitively priced electricity at the electric supplier’s published fixed rate.
Q: Can I opt-out over the phone?
A: No. A resident’s decision to ‘Opt Out’ of the Village’s aggregation program must be communicated by completing the opt-out form and mailing it back prior to the postmarked deadline listed on the notice?
Q: Can I opt-out of the program at a later date?
A: Yes. You can opt-out at any time as First Energy does not charge an early termination fee.
Q: What are my energy supply choices if I decide to opt-out?
A: You can either remain with Com-Ed and pay their current wintertime rate of 8.82₵/kWh or you can visit www.pluginillinnois.org to shop program rates offered by other licensed retail electric suppliers.
Q: What should I do if I do not receive an ‘opt out’ notice in the mail and am not enrolled in any alternate retail electric supply program?
A: If YOU ARE INTERESTED in joining the aggregation program, contact First Energy Customer Service Department at (888) 254-6359 to let them know your interest. If YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED in joining the aggregation program and did not receive an ‘opt out’ notice, call the Village at (630) 871-6250.
Q: What should I do if someone comes to my home or business looking to enroll me in the Village’s aggregation program?
A: BEWARE OF UNAUTHORIZED SOLICITORS stating that they are affiliated with the Village’s aggregation program! Any energy supply company representative making phone calls or visiting a residence or business in person is surely not representing the Village nor providing information as part of a Village program. Residents or businesses should call emergency 9-1-1 to report any unsolicited visits from a representative of an retail electric supplier who claims to represent the Village and/or uses false information to attempt to enroll customers. Complaints against a particular supplier can also be directed to the Illinois Commerce Commission at 1-800-524-0795 who will document and follow up the complaint.
Q: When will I begin saving on my monthly electric bill?
A: The goal is to transition all aggregation participants to the new supply rate in February and March and program participants can expect to realize electric savings with your March or April 2013 bill.
Q: What if I move out of Carol Stream before the contract is over?
A: You are free to leave with no penalty and no early termination fees.
Q: If I move out of my home but relocate within the Village can I remain in the aggregation program?
A: Yes. Once you occupy your new home, you must contact the supplier to establish a supply account at your new address.
Q: If I join the aggregation program, who will be responsible for responding to any service problems or storm or weather related power outages?
A: Com-Ed will still be responsible for meter reading, customer billing as well as outage response.
Q: Is there a phone number to call if I have additional questions?
A: If you have additional questions, please contact First Energy Customer Service Department 24 hours/day 7days/week at (800) 977-0500. You can also contact the Village Manager’s Office at (630) 871-6250.
Village of Carol Stream