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Electric Supply Options 'Good' for Consumers, Says ComEd

2012 expected to be watershed year for state’s 15-year policy to bring choice to customers.

With approximately 80 percent of municipalities approving referendums on electric supply aggregation, based on preliminary results, ComEd estimated today that approximately half of residential customers could switch to an alternative retail electric supplier (RES) by the end of the year.

Cary voted to give the village authority to negotiate for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers, .  

This represents great progress in the state’s 15-year policy to create a fully competitive market for electric supply, the company said.

“This week’s municipal referendums represented an important milestone in the journey to a fully competitive residential electric supply market, which ComEd has supported from the beginning,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and chief executive officer, ComEd. “In the coming months, as municipalities go through the process of public hearings and deciding on the best supplier and electric supply contract, ComEd will do everything it can to help make the process smooth and productive.”

As a result of industry restructuring, ComEd’s primary role today is to distribute electricity that is generated by other competitive power producers. Already, more than 60 percent of all energy delivered by ComEd is provided by RES suppliers. ComEd purchases the remaining energy in the competitive wholesale market through the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) and passes it through to customers at its cost. ComEd does not profit on the sale of electricity.

The referendums were designed to earn public approval to begin a process to identify a supplier and contract terms. Municipalities are required to hold a public hearing and send opt-out letters to give individual residents the opportunity to decline participation in the municipal aggregation program.

ComEd’s supply costs are currently higher than the price RES’s can provide because of long-term contracts procured through the IPA in 2007 when wholesale market prices were much higher. Those contracts will expire in May 2013.

ComEd will continue to deliver power to customers’ homes and businesses and restore outages regardless of which supplier a customer chooses now or in the future.

Competition in the residential market is expanding through individual customers switching to a RES and through electrical aggregation programs, where municipalities shop for electricity supply on behalf of their residents and enter into a single contract with a RES. Once the municipality selects a RES, each resident has the option to “opt-out” of the program and either select their own supplier or remain with ComEd.

ComEd works with these municipalities by providing electricity load data and other information to allow these communities to solicit bids and make informed decisions. More than 200 municipalities considered referendums to authorize them to pursue these opportunities.

While the electricity market for large commercial and industrial customers has experienced vibrant competition for years, the residential market was slower to develop. This has changed in the last year.

Today, there are more than 30 alternative suppliers in ComEd’s territory who are certified to sell energy to residential consumers.

Customers looking to examine their electric supply options go to www.pluginillinois.com, which is the Illinois Commerce Commission website dedicated to customer choice.

Source: ComEd Communications

Margaret Bartha March 29, 2012 at 03:54 PM
I also think that is a good thing. My friend Garth is in the business of helping people save money on their electric bill as a licensed electrician, he likes to see some competition in this field and not just one company monopolizing the market http://grahamelectricva.com
Dan March 29, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Why do the residential and small commercial retail customers need the city of Cary when before one could choose between all the suppliers?
Mike June 18, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Currently there are 30 alternative suppliers in ComEd’s territory who are certified to sell energy to residential consumers. You have the choice to change or form an aggregate without government involvement. The initial cost savings will be advantageous, however have you ever seen any government agency local, State or Federal run programs efficiently and continue to contain costs? Once you give up your control of choice it is close to impossible to ever get it back. Ironic how the word aggregate is again facing the residents of Cary when intrusting your best interests with the village. How many of you would have voted “yes” on a referendum for a gravel pit in Cary?

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