Tri States Public Radio Staff
Potential 20% savings
Tue August 14, 2012
Beardstown Voters Will Decide Aggregation
Beardstown is the latest city in West-Central Illinois to look at electric aggregation to see if it will save residents money on their electric bills. The city will put a referendum before voters in November.
Mayor Bob Walters says city council members listened to a presentation by Southern Illinois Municipal Electric Cooperative this week. He says the members asked general questions about the process. He says they seemed satisfied with the answers.
If voters approve the referendum, the city would purchase electricity on their behalf in an effort to get the lowest rate.
Walters says the city will insist on one specific condition to make sure that comes true.
He says, “We want to put an automatic clause in if their rates exceed what the existing Ameren rates were at the time, it automatically terminates the contracts.”
Walter says that would increase the pressure to get the city the best deal on rates.
The cooperative could not give the city definite prices because of market volatility. Walters says saving up to 20% are possible.
The city council also approved using the cooperative as its consultant in the process.
The city is required to hold two public hearings on the issue prior to the election. Walters says the dates have not been set. He expects the city council to set the schedule within the next two weeks.
State law allows individual residents to opt-out of electric aggregation. The city could also terminate the contract with 30 days notice.