Residents and small businesses in Skokie, as in the Cities of Highland Park and Lake Forest and the Villages of Deerfield, Lake Bluff and Northbrook will start the state’s largest price-match electricity aggregation program in October 2021. The six participating communities will generate $1.6 million in total funding over three years at no additional cost to utility ratepayers.
The revenues allocated to Skokie and the other communities through this program will be used to advance local sustainability initiatives and other goals established by each community. Skokie will utilize the funds to conduct a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and use those results to develop their next Sustainability Plan. Funds also will be utilized to convert streetlights from metal halide light bulbs to lower wattage LED bulbs.
Since 2009, Illinois state law allows municipalities to arrange for alternative suppliers to provide electricity to their residential and small commercial retail customers. This process is known as electric load aggregation. Aggregation is seamless for the customer and ComEd continues to be responsible for billing, electricity delivery and customer service.
The six communities, as the North Shore Electricity Aggregation Consortium, first engaged in aggregation during 2012 to 2017 and saved residents tens of millions of dollars through reduced electricity rates. Under this new program, some, but not all, customers are moved from ComEd supply to an alternative supplier. Customers pay the exact same rate as they would with ComEd, and the alternative supplier provides a rebate to the contracting municipality.
In the next few weeks, residents and small commercial customers in Skokie and the other five communities will receive letters about the program. No action is required to enroll, but accounts that are changing suppliers will have an opportunity to opt-out. There are no phone calls or door-to-door solicitations.
The Consortium selected MC Squared Energy Services, LLC of Chicago as its energy provider in early 2021. MC Squared was selected through a competitive bidding process open to all Illinois alternative electricity suppliers.
The six communities are partners with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus in the state’s largest municipally-sponsored community solar program. The program has commitments from solar developers to supply over 10 megawatts of community solar credits for residents and small businesses. The program has enrolled over three megawatts since launching in November 2020.