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ELECTION 2013: Electricity aggregation referendum passes in Villa Park

VILLA PARK — A referendum that would allow Villa Park to negotiate electricity rates for residents and businesses was approved during Tuesday's election by about a 2-to-1 margin.

The results from the DuPage County Election Commission indicated the referendum received 2,160 "yes" votes and 1,281 "no" votes.

This is the village's second attempt at aggregating electricity. The referendum failed when it appeared on the ballot last spring.

With electricity aggregation, the village will be responsible for negotiating a contract with an electricity provider. This process has already been done in many of Villa Park's neighboring towns, including Elmhurst, Lombard and Addison.

Rich Keehner, Villa Park's village manager, said that the next step will be for the Village Board to pass an ordinance that will designate a contact person for the village to help facilitate the process of electricity aggregation and to approve a plan of governance.

This ordinance is expected to appear on the April 22 Village Board agenda for first and final readings, he said.

Although there is no guarantee the trends will continue, all of the towns in Illinois that have previously aggregated electricity have managed to negotiate contracts with electricity providers with rates that are lower than the ones currently being offered by Commonwealth Edison.

It typically takes between 60 to 90 days after a referendum passes before a new electrical provider begins servicing residents. Keehner said it's possible the switch will happen early this summer.

Vote totals are unofficial until certified.

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