The Fairview Heights city council will consider putting the question of electric aggregation before voters in April.
Mayor Gail Mitchell proposed a resolution that will ask voters whether the city should "have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such a program?"
The proposal was presented to the council for the first time Tuesday and will move to a second reading at the next city council meeting Jan. 2. Ward 4 Alderwoman Linda Arnold and Ward 1 Alderman Joshua Frawley both voted no to move the resolution to a second reading. Ward 2 Alderman Speed Allen and Ward 5 Alderwoman Bonnie Crossley were both absent.
The council must approve the resolution before the referendum can be put on the April 9 municipal election ballot.
If voters pass the referendum the city will have the authority to negotiate new electricity supply prices for residents and small businesses. A majority of voters must pass the referendum and the city will negotiate with different electric suppliers to find the best cost.
If the measure passes, all eligible residents are automatically included in the bargaining group unless they opt-out and decide to stay with their current electricity supplier, in most cases Ameren Illinois, or choose an alternative retail supplier on their own.
In an opt-out electrical aggregation program, customers get two chances to opt out of electric aggregation once their local city chooses a new retail electricity supplier. The city will send a notice with an opt-out form, followed by a second notice from Ameren Illinois.
Illinois Commerce Commission has a website dedicated to electric aggregation: It can be accessed at www.pluginillinois.org/MunicipalAggregation.aspx. The site provides rate comparisons, lists of retail electric suppliers and the electricity supply rates for each community that has entered into opt-out electric aggregation contracts.
The Citizens Utility Board, Ameren Illinois and Good Energy also offer information on electric aggregation on their websites.