What is municipal energy aggregation?
To understand what municipal energy aggregation is, it's first important to understand how energy or electricity is provided to each property.
Energy is "delivered" to a property by an "energy delivery provider" through that provider's power lines, power supply stations, and other power infrastructure. The "supply" of that energy is provided by an "energy supplier". The energy supplier supplies energy to your property by using the delivery system of the energy delivery provider. Sometimes the energy supplier is the same company as the energy delivery provider, but they often are not. When you pay your power bill, you are paying both a "delivery" charge at one rate and the "supply" charge at a different rate.
Ameren is the energy delivery provider for the Village of Heyworth. Ameren owns and operates the power poles, power lines, street lights, power stations, transformers and other such electrical equipment located within the Village.
Municipal Energy Aggregation is the concept that municipalities, because they can negotiate the purchase of energy/electricity supply from an energy supplier for every household within the municipality pursuant to the Illinois Power Agency Act, can get a cheaper energy supply rate for every household than if individual homes negotiated the purchase of energy supply themselves. In other words, its often cheaper to buy in bulk. The more customers an energy supplier knows it will have, the cheaper the rate the energy supplier may provide.
There are many energy suppliers out there that want your business. You likely have received advertisements in the mail asking you to join an energy aggregation supplier. How the Village negotiates with energy suppliers is to utilize the services of a Municipal Energy Aggregation broker, currently The Stone River Group, to negotiate with energy suppliers on behalf of the Village. Brokers like The Stone River Group will often join multiple municipalities together, if the municipalities agree, to form a larger group. Using this larger group, the broker negotiates with various energy supplier for: (1) the cheapest energy supply rate; and (2) the number of months or years that the energy supplier will provide that energy supply rate. Generally, whichever energy supplier negotiates the lowest energy supply rate, the municipality will chose that energy contract.
Do I have to use the energy supplier the Village approved for Municipal Energy Aggregation?
No. The Village utilizes "opt-out" energy aggregation. This means that energy customers can sign a letter saying that they do not want to a part of the municipal energy aggregation contract. Once a person opts-out, that person cannot later rejoin the municipal energy aggregation group until a new contract is negotiated.
If you want to be a part of the municipal energy aggregation contract, no further action is needed by you. You are automatically enrolled in the municipal energy aggregation program.