Champaign's electric aggregation program put on hold - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Champaign's electric aggregation program put on hold

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Champaign -- Two years ago, the city of Champaign brokered a deal with Integrys Energy Services so residents and small businesses could get electricity as a discounted price. But now, Ameren Illinois is expected to supply electricity for less, and the city's electric aggregation program is being put on hold.

It's a change Champaign energy consumers might not notice at first.

 "They'll still get a bill from Ameren," said Kris Koester, public information officer for Champaign's Public Works Department. "Even though we've been using Integrys, they're the energy provider and Ameren is the energy supplier."

But this year, the amount Ameren Illinois is expected to charge to supply electricity is less than other energy companies.

 "We did go out on bids and ask for bids from retail electric suppliers and all of the bids that came back per kilowatt hour were higher than what Ameren's default rate is," said Koester.

So Ameren will become the default electric company for Champaign consumers, and the city's municipal electric aggregation program will be put on pause.

"[Residents will] get a couple of things in the mail this month," said Koester. "One letting them know they are back on Ameren default rate, they'll also get a letter from the city letting them know the changes that are being made."

But even though Ameren's supply rate should drop to around four cents per kilowakilowattnext month, its delivery rate is expected to grow come January 2015, and that could offset any potential savings. So if price is a problem, customers are encouraged to do some research.

To do that, log on to www.pluginillinois.org to compare prices from all electric companies in the area.
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