Municipal aggregation is a cost savings tool available to residents in Illinois and other states to give them the “Power of Choice.” Forward-thinking government officials have leveraged this tool to lower their constituents’ costs, saving them millions in utility bill payments.
Since the State of Illinois deregulated the electric market, nearly all of the change has been limited to the commercial market. To date, 76% of the commercial market has moved from ComEd to take advantage of lower cost suppliers. However, the number of residential households that has moved from ComEd to these lower cost suppliers has been negligible. Suppliers could only offer an “opt in” program, where each resident had to individually initiate the change to another supplier. Most residents are not sufficiently informed about deregulation or the various supplier options to make an informed choice.
Therefore, the State of Illinois recently changed the current legislation to allow municipalities and counties to enact an “opt out” program. Under this option, governmental units could move all utility (ComEd & Ameren) accounts within their jurisdiction to a supplier of their choice, much like municipal contracts for cable or trash. If a resident does not want to change, they can "opt out" of the municipal choice and move back to ComEd.
A governmental unit should only consider an “opt out” program if it could offer residential rates lower than those of ComEd. Currently, those lower rates are available in the marketplace.