In today’s AUSenergy News Update: Champaign city officials will decide whether to continue with municipal electric aggregation program, NYISO electricity prices could increase due to “new capacity zone”, and Oak Park residents angered over Village Board decision to ditch green power.
Summary: City council members in Champaign, Illinois will decide whether to continue with its municipal energy aggregation program once it expires in June. Its neighboring city, Urbana, has already decided to continue with the program. City leaders there see it as a two-year hedge against rising electricity rates.
AUS Comment: The fixed-price component of the municipal aggregation program will provide residents protection against the likely possibility of rising utility electric rates for 2 years. Residents may opt-out of the program at any time.
Summary: Due to a “new capacity zone” plan, intended to promote the development of new generating capacity in NYISO, electricity bills could rise between 6 and 10 percent for residential and industrial customers, respectively. The plan is opposed by several local government officials, the state Public Service Commission and the Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp, among others.
AUS Comment: Those opposed to the plan hope FERC will indefinitely postpone the plan to avoid unnecessarily high electricity rates, especially after experiencing brutally high winter utility bills.
Summary: About 200 Oak Park residents, business owners and religious leaders forming a standing-room only crowd, berated the Village Board for its decision to ditch its commitment to 100% green energy electricity in favor of a “brown” energy supplier. The decision was made by the board to provide the lowest possible rates. The savings amounted to one tenth of a cent per kilowatt hour which, according to Village President, Anan Abu-Taleb, would result in a total of $1.8 million in savings.
AUS Comment: Audience members present were reminded that Oak Park aggregation participants have been given the ability to opt-in to a green power mix by calling Constellation Energy which will offer the renewable energy mix for an additional one tenth of a cent per kilowatt-hour. Residents have until May 8 to opt out of the default brown power mix.
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