Oak Lawn OKs power contract
By Mike Nolan email@example.com December 5, 2012 4:18PM
Updated: January 7, 2013 7:16AM
Homeowners and small businesses in Oak Lawn are expected to save a combined $6 million in electricity costs over two years under a contract with an alternative energy supplier.
The village board on Nov. 27 approved a two-year contract with Verde Energy USA, which will supply electricity to homes and small businesses starting in February. Under the agreement, residents will be charged about 5 cents per kilowatt hour compared with the current market rate of 8.3 cents, village manager Larry Deetjen said Wednesday.
Last month, voters in the village approved a referendum question asking whether the village should contract with an alternate energy supplier. Several communities in the Chicago area have opted to “aggregate” the combined energy needs of homes and small businesses and solicit bids from power suppliers.
Deetjen said notices are going out to homes and businesses about the contract, and homeowners and business owners can choose to opt out of the program if they want to stay with their current power supplier. Also, if a resident or business later decides to drop out, there isn’t a penalty charge.
Under the contract, the average homeowner is expected to save $306 annually compared with current electricity rates, while the typical apartment dweller will save $146 a year, according to Arnold Schramel, managing partner with Progressive Energy Group, Oak Lawn’s consultant on electricity aggregation.
Connecticut-based Verde Energy said it supplies power to more than 50,000 customers in a dozen Illinois communities, and also serves markets in New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.