Bellevile Mayor Mark Eckert said the city secured the cheapest electricity supply rate possible in the electric aggregation bidding process on Tuesday.
"This is big news ... I'm very pleased," Eckert said. "I'm excited for the consumers because I think they got a good deal today. It just shows that competition will save people money."
Belleville, along with other metro-east cities at a meeting in Granite City, signed a 17-month contract with Homefield Energy as the new electric supplier.
The rate for Belleville residents will be 3.909 cents per kilowatt-hour for the supply portion of residents' bills. This would be a decrease, for some residents, from about 5.8 cents per kilowatt-hour -- amounting to annual savings of about $200 per household.
"This was the best possible rate for the citizens that we can get," Eckert said.
Eckert said the city saved residents money by choosing traditional energy instead of green energy sources, and by choosing not to take a municipality fee.
Cities that chose any form of renewable energy or to take a fee from residents signed a contract with a higher rate.
The majority of residents are automatically enrolled, so those who want to particpate in the program do not have to do anything.
Residents currently signed on with an alternative electricity supplier are excluded from the group purchase, so these residents would have to enroll with Homefield Energy.
Residents who want to opt out of the program will have two chances to do so in the next month. Residents will get a mailer from Homefield Energy and a mailer from Ameren that will show the new rate and explain the opt-out process.
Contact reporter Jacqueline Lee at email@example.com or 239-2655. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/BNDBelleville.