Jul 26, 2014
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Hearing Tuesday for City's 'Opt In' Electric Program

The city is negotiating a deal through which residents will be able to save 40 percent on their electricity bills, but they must sign an agreement to change electric providers.

Hearing Tuesday for City's 'Opt In' Electric Program

A public hearing will be held Tuesday to get input and provide information on 's plan to let residents "opt in" to a program through which their electric bills will be cut by about 40 percent.

Although voters rejected the referendum that would have given all residents and small business owners the savings automatically via the contract negotiated through the Will County Governmental League, city officials are making a deal in which those .

However, anyone who wants to participate will need to sign an "opt in" agreement in which they agree to drop ComEd as their electricity provider in favor of a two-year deal with FirstEnergy Solutions. ComEd would continue to issue bills, provide line maintenance and deal with power outages.

The public hearing will be at 4 p.m. in the planning conference room at
, 150 W. Jefferson St.

A second public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 8, during the city council's regularly scheduled meeting in the Little Theater of , 201 E. Jefferson St.

The city described electrical aggregation this way in a press release on the hearing:

"Electric aggregation is a program that allows local governments to bundle or 'aggregate' residential and small commercial retail electric accounts and seek bids for a most cost effective supply of power. Currently, ComEd customers receive electricity at a price set each year by the Illinois Power Agency, a governmental body that secures electricity on the wholesale market on behalf of ComEd. By
bundling residential and small commercial accounts, municipalities can go out into the open market to seek a lower rate for electrical supply."

Residents and eligible business owners will receive a letter on city letterhead explaining the program and providing a form through which they can sign on to the program.

The city council is expected to review and take action on the plan at the Sept. 18 meeting. A copy of the plan is available in the city's clerk's office and at www.cityofjoliet.info.

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