Rural voters in four DeKalb County townships – Cortland, Kingston, Sycamore and Victor – voted in favor of electric aggregation proposals for their areas Tuesday.
Voters approved the measure, 75 to 40, in Cortland Township. In Kingston Township, the referendum received 131 yes votes and 71 no votes, while in Sycamore township 226 voters were for it and 71 voted against it. In Victor Township, the referendum passed, 53 to 26.
Electrical aggregation allows residents to band together to secure the best rate from energy suppliers. The programs apply only in unincorporated areas of the township, so only voters registered in those areas were allowed to vote in the referendums.
Because the energy is purchased in bulk, residents save more with the township entering short-term contracts with opt-out options on their behalf. ComEd still delivers the electricity through its power lines and issues the bills, but the energy is provided by an alternate supplier.
Sycamore Township Supervisor Amy Mathey said she thought it would be a good thing to offer residents.
“I live in town in Sycamore, and the city has done this,” Mathey said. “I’ve noticed savings on my electric bill, so we decided to reach out and help others in the same way.”
Dean Lundee, Victor Township assessor, estimated 74 households in his township would be affected.
Marni Henert of Rock River Energy Services in Oregon, said each township will receive a list of households within its boundaries from ComEd.
State law prevents commercial customers that use more than 15,000 kilowatt hours a year from participating in electrical aggregation; there are no usage limits for residential customers, Henert said.
All four townships worked with Rock River Energy throughout the referendum process; the partnership will continue now that the election is over.
Townships will need to conduct two public hearings on the issue and then will be allowed to accept bids from power suppliers.
Contracts allow residents to opt out if they wish to remain with ComEd or use a different energy supplier. For residents who do not opt out, the rate will default to ComEd’s rate if the supplier should ever exceed ComEd’s rate.