Peoria County: News
Ameren Electric Rate Hike Underscores Value of Area Electric Aggregation Programs
Jul 8, 2015
In 2012, over 35 communities in Central Illinois passed municipal electricity aggregation referenda, including Peoria County. These communities then worked together to leverage low prices for electricity supply for residential and small business accounts. Since 2012, this effort has saved residents in Central Illinois hundreds of dollars and kept millions of dollars in the community.
The new Ameren Illinois electricity tariffs for the coming year (June 2015 – May 2016) were recently announced. As expected, the rates increased sharply from the current levels. Participants in Central Illinois’ electric aggregation program are protected from the increase in rates, and will realize increased savings due to the multi-year electric supply contract already in place.
The utility’s new electric supply rates for residential customers will jump to more than 5.9 cents per kilowatt-hour for the summer period comprising June-September. In October, rates will move up to nearly 6.2 cents per kilowatt-hour.
For small business accounts, Ameren’s supply rates are even higher, set at 6.8 cents for the summer and over 7 cents for the non-summer periods. Small business accounts must consume fewer than 15,000 kilowatt-hours annually to qualify for community electric aggregation programs. In contrast, nearly all the participants in Central Illinois’ aggregation program will maintain the 4.746 cents per kwh rate already in place. For the average residential customer, this represents a savings of $122 annually. Small businesses are set to save even more depending on usage.
The cost increases were anticipated when the Central Illinois buying group established its current contract. The group’s consultant, Good Energy, presented a forecast of rising prices in the wholesale market, coupled with a tightening of available electric supply. To get ahead of it, the group took action by establishing a multi-year supply agreement. Had the communities waited, residents and small businesses would not have the protection against this price volatility.
Eligible residents and small businesses who are not currently participating in the program may join at no cost. To determine eligibility and enroll, residents may call the supplier, Homefield Energy at (866) 694-1262.
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