Update: Chicago residents and small businesses should receive this week an official change of electric supplier notice from the City of Chicago and Integrys. Here is a link to a copy of the letter, including information, FAQs, and opt-out letters.
Municipal aggregation is in the news, most recently in light of Chicago City Council’s 50-0 vote approving the bulk electricity buying plan.
The plan will save customers money over ComEd’s fixed price rate. A positive result of aggregation is that it may encourage folks to think about their own power and usage, perhaps for the first time. And knowledge is key when it comes to informed decision-making by Chicago residents and small businesses.
We’ve written about what municipal aggregation means for your options as an hourly pricing customer. Here’s what else we think you should know.
- The municipal aggregation ruling does not affect current hourly pricing customers or folks who currently buy their power from someone besides ComEd. Everyone else will be automatically switched over in the next two months.
- Customers have options: you can switch back to ComEd, to another provider, or to hourly pricing, for free, at any time. One option for Chicago residents is the ComEd Residential Real-Time Pricing Program. Since 2007, hourly pricing customers have saved on average 25 percent. For many, hourly pricing may be a better fit. Call us to find out: 888-202-RRTP (7787).
- Integrys Energy Services won the two-year contract to provide electricity to Chicago residents. Integrys is a sister company to Peoples Gas.
- Integrys plans to send a letter to all Chicago residents (except current residential real-time pricing customers and customers already buying power from alternative retail energy suppliers) to inform them of the offer and provide instructions for opting out of the program, if they wish. (We’ll post a copy of the letter when we have it.)
- ComEd continues to deliver the electricity and is still responsible for electric delivery service lines into homes and businesses. (ComEd does not generate any electricity.)
- CNT Energy applauds the City of Chicago’s decision to include important consumer protections in their aggregation program, including no early-termination fee for those who may want to switch in the future to other providers or an hourly pricing program, and that current hourly pricing customers are not automatically switched. That is, any customers currently on hourly pricing programs stay on those programs.
- Environmental attributes are still being determined, but, as part of the contract, Integrys has agreed to not purchase any electricity from coal-fired power plants.
Image from Flickr user ricardodiaz11.