The Cities of Highland Park and Lake Forest and the Villages of Deerfield, Glencoe, Lake Bluff, Northbrook and Skokie (the “North Shore Electricity Aggregation Consortium” or “Consortium”) entered into agreements with Integrys Energy Services (soon to be consolidated into Constellation Energy Services) to provide electricity supply and services to the communities’ municipal electricity aggregation programs. With the agreements in place, the Consortium communities will monitor electricity pricing with the goal of locking in rates that will be lower than the new ComEd default rates that are expected to be announced in April.
MC Squared Energy Services has been the provider since 2011, but its three-year agreement expires in May. The NSEAC issued an RFP in November 2014 and received two bids — from MC Squared and Integrys/Constellation, with Integrys/Constellation being the lowest. To date, according to a Lake Forest spokesman, the NSEAC has saved its residents approximately $36 million. Lake Forest residents are anticipated to see a $4.8 million saving through May of 2015.
The transition to the new agreement and pricing will require residential and small commercial accounts that are currently enrolled in the Consortium communities’ aggregation programs to return to ComEd default service rates starting in May. The return to ComEd default rate service will allow the Consortium communities the opportunity to lock in rates after the new ComEd default service rates have been announced, however a price lock with Integrys may not occur unless rates lower than ComEd are achievable.
The transition process to the new supply contract will include the following stages:
1. ComEd will send letters to all accounts currently enrolled in the Consortium communities’ municipal aggregation programs notifying them that their current supply contract is expiring and that their account will revert to the ComEd default rate starting in May, 2015;
2. If a new electricity supply price is set, the Consortium communities will send opt-out letters to all residential and small commercial accounts to provide account owners the opportunity to either participate or opt-out of the new municipal aggregation supply contract. Accounts that are enrolled in the new municipal aggregation supply contract will then receive a final letter from ComEd verifying that the account has been enrolled into the municipal aggregation supply contract.
3. If a new rate cannot be set that is less than ComEd’s default rate, customers will remain with ComEd.
Electricity supply and billing schedules will not be interrupted due to the transition. Residents should be aware that no representatives from Integrys Energy Services will be calling or visiting their homes as part of the transition process, and should exercise caution if they are asked for their ComEd account numbers by any party.
The new twenty-four (24) month agreements with Integrys Energy Services resulted from an extensive, competitive due diligence process that started in November 2014. Responses to a Request for Proposals (RFP) process from suppliers were evaluated by the Consortium’s members, legal counsel, and energy consultant. The Consortium negotiated with the suppliers to gain meaningful consumer safeguards and supply standards that include affordable renewable energy options. The goal of this has always been to seek opportunities to save electricity customers money on their electric bill. The intent of the Consortium is to seek the lowest price available to residents.
The Consortium communities have all approved intergovernmental agreements that allow the Consortium to collaborate on areas other than electricity supply to gain economies of scale. The Consortium has begun evaluating the potential for future projects and new ways to use their scale to provide innovative services to our residents and businesses.
-Submitted by City of Lake Forest and Village of Lake Bluff