One day after the Vandalia City Council voted to put an electric aggregation on the April 9 consolidated election ballot, the Fayette County Board did the same.
The city council voted on Monday to both put the issue on the ballot and approve an agreement with Good Energy for professional energy consulting services.
Good Energy representative Steve Bryant made a presentation to the city council at its Dec. 17 meeting, and to the county board on Tuesday night.
Bryant explained to both entities that state statute allows municipalities and counties to join together for the purchase of electricity.
He said that the group purchases allow for considerably lower rates.
Good Energy has gone through two rounds of buying electricity, representing 110 communities and about 420,000 homes.
In the first round, a rate of .03980 kWh, was obtained, and in the second round, Good Energy obtained a rate of .03989 kWh. The Ameren rate was .062 kWh.
“You’ll never pay more than what you’re paying today,” Bryant told the county board on Tuesday.
He said that if residents of municipalities or counties that pass referendums do not wish to be a part of the aggregation program, they have two chances to opt out.
But, Bryant said, he doesn’t understand why someone would opt out, due to the promise for lower electric bills.
In fact, he said, one individual who chose to opt out later asked to be a part of the group after seeing other residents’ lower bills.
He also explained that customers of electric cooperatives, such as Southwestern Electric Cooperative, are not eligible for participation in aggregation programs.
Bryant said that Good Energy is the largest aggregation consulting group in the state, and that after the third round of purchases, it will be the third-largest in the nation.
Its goal is to have 100,000 residential and small commercial electric customers included in that third round, he said.
As the agreement resolution that the city council approved on Monday states, Good Energy will provide a number of services, including negotiating fees for residential and small commercial customers in the city.
It also will explain the aggregation program to local residents at public hearings and otherwise inform residents through an awareness program.
Good Energy provides its services at no cost to the entities, instead generating their revenue as part of its procurement of lower electrical rates.