Riverside board discusses electrical aggregation renewal

RIVERSIDE – On Monday, the village of Riverside will once again solicit bids with an eye toward renewing their electrical aggregation program. The village will again engage the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative (NIMEC) to manage their aggregation program.

According to NIMEC, Riverside residents saved $750,000 community-wide with their enrollment in the program between September 2012 and the end of September 2013. The village is hoping for similar or greater savings for residents when they re-enroll, but changes in the aggregation market may limit the village's options, according to Sharon Durling, director of marketing for NIMEC.

The current aggregation program set a fixed rate of 4.88 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to ComEd's current rate of 6.005 cents per kilowatt hour. The village is also enrolled to get 100 percent of its electricity through renewable energy certificates and has no early termination fee.

The village is due for renewal in July and ComEd will release their rate in May. The village will have a 24 hour window to accept a bid they find favorable on Monday, or can reject them and go out for bid again at a later date.

"Prices are higher," Durling said of the current market.

Durling told the board that, based on NIMEC's research of the market, the village may have a harder time finding an exact match for their current program, due to less suppliers submitting bids in the marketplace. However, she said if the village selected a bid with no early termination fee, if ComEd's rates turned out to be lower in May, NIMEC would alert the village, who would in turn tell residents they could save more by dropping out of the program.

Trustees unanimous passed an ordinance to allow village staff to solicit bids on behalf of residents. Residents who choose not to participate can drop out of the program.