Electricity Aggregation Program May 2014

Electricity Aggregation Program May 2014
ELMHURST- On Tuesday, May 27, the City of Elmhurst chose Constellation as the electricity supplier for the City’s Electricity Aggregation Program renewal. The City agreed to a rate of 7.51 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) compared to ComEd’s summer 2014 residential supply rate of 7.596 cents/kWh . ComEd rates for delivery services will continue to apply in addition to all applicable taxes and other charges.

Key features of the agreement include:
• A fixed price of 7.51 cents/kWh from September 2014 through August 2017.
• A cleaner power supply (specifically, 14% coal vs. the current 44% coal), offset with Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).
• The option to increase renewable energy offsets via RECs to 100%.
• An opt-out option for customers who do not want to participate in the program.
• No early termination fee if customers choose to leave the program at any time.

According to the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), the “polar vortex” winter helped elevate wholesale market prices, but rates also are rising due to capacity charge increases. Capacity charges, which impacts supply prices for both ComEd and alternative electric suppliers, are designed to ensure that power generators have capacity and are ready to meet electricity usage demand at its highest (i.e., hot summer days).

Consumers across the ComEd service area will see an increase in their electric bills, and because Elmhurst negotiated such a favorable rate in the 2012 aggregated contract, the rise in rates will be noticeable. However, an Elmhurst residential customer using 900 kWh per month may save $30 - $35 per year on average over the most current ComEd rate for the electricity supply portion of their electric bill, depending on monthly variation in usage and ComEd pricing over time. It is worth noting again, these savings are not in addition to the savings consumers received during the 2012-2014 aggregated contract. The City is not collecting any fees from the program.

ComEd’s rate of 7.596 cents/kWh does not include the variable Purchased Electricity Adjustment (PEA) charge. The variable PEA can be a credit or a charge of a maximum 0.5 cents/kWh each month and has averaged 0.33 cents/kWh for the last 36 months. When adding the average PEA rate to ComEd’s 2014 summer rate (7.926 cents/kWh), the City’s rate of 7.51 cents/kWh compares favorably.

Another benefit of the new contract is an energy supply mix that is substantially cleaner than previous energy mixes, due to the decrease in usage of coal derived power sources. The new mix is comprised of 14% coal versus the current mix of 44% coal. This cleaner mix will reduce carbon emissions.

In addition to a cleaner mix, residents and small business customers will automatically receive the benefits of 50% renewable energy through Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). RECs are an independently certified commodity representing the “green” aspect of energy produced by renewable sources such as wind farms. The City of Elmhurst negotiated to offset its electricity supply with 50% RECs in 2012, and is proud to continue its support of renewable energy in this agreement.
Customers interested in offsetting 100% of their energy supply with renewable energy RECs can choose to do so at a rate of 7.58 cents/kWh for 36 months. Customers interested in increasing their support of clean energy must “opt up” by contacting the Constellation Call Center at 800/718-1493.

During the week of June 9, the City and Constellation will mail a notice to eligible Elmhurst customers. This notice will give customers who do not want to be part of the program the chance to opt out. Customers who opt out will be switched to ComEd and pay the current ComEd supply rate. Customers desiring to opt out of the program will need to take action one of four ways: By returning the opt-out response form included with the notice in the pre-addressed stamped envelope; fax the Opt-out form to 1-866-422-6233; call Constellation directly at 1-800-718-1493; or visit the website home.constellation.com/optout.
Customers who want to stay in the program and receive Constellation’s rate of 7.51 cents per kWh will automatically be part of the program at no charge and do not need to respond to the notice. Terms and conditions will be included in the notice and also be available on the City’s website, www.elmhurst.org.

The City and Constellation are working diligently to begin the new program and switch to Constellation by August 2014. ComEd will continue to deliver the electricity and respond to services issues, and customers will continue to receive a single bill from ComEd. Constellation previously reached aggregation supply agreements with Oak Park and a group of Northwest Chicago suburbs, including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Palatine, Vernon Hills, Wheeling and Long Grove. Constellation is parented by Exelon, a Fortune 200 company that services at least two-thirds of Fortune 100 companies and more than one million residential customers. Elmhurst customers who have already changed electricity suppliers but want to join the program will need to contact Constellation, and will have an individual agreement but will retain the same electric supply rate, terms and conditions of the aggregation program. They will not receive an “opt out” notice, and an early termination fee may be levied by their current electricity supplier, so check your contract carefully. Elmhurst customers who want to explore all of their alternative supply options are encouraged to visit the Illinois Commerce Commission’s www.pluginillinois.org website.

Customers with questions can call Constellation at 1-800-718-1493, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., CST, or visit home.constellation.com/optout.

1. The current ComEd Basic Electric Service Rate in effect from June 2014 through September 2014, including the Electricity Supply Charge and the Transmission Services Charge. From October 2014 through May 2015 ComEd’s rate is estimated at 7.42 cents per kilowatt hour.