O'Fallon Progress

Electricity rate change in O’Fallon is good new, bad news situation

O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach.
O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach.

We recently received information from Ameren Illinois about electricity rates. It’s a classic good news, bad news situation.

The good news is that Ameren has lowered its rates. The bad news: they are now lower than O’Fallon municipal aggregation rate.

Even the bad news part could be considered good news, because it can save you money. We felt it was important to let our residents know that they have the choice to opt out of the municipal aggregation program in order to take advantage of the lower Ameren rate. However, each resident will have to do their own research in order to determine what is best.

O’Fallon’s municipal aggregation rate is higher than Ameren’s current default rate. However, Ameren may raise their rates at any time if they file with the Illinois Commerce Commission and demonstrate that its costs have changed. While the municipal aggregation rate is higher, it delivers price stability and is expected to provide savings over the contract term.

Effective June 2018, the new Ameren summer rate (June 2018-September 2018) is 0.0460 and the non-summer rate (October 2018-May 2019) is 0.0515. These new rates are lower than O’Fallon’s current municipal electrical aggregation contract with Homefield Energy, which is 0.0570. The municipal aggregation rate will decrease an additional 2 percent to 0.05596, beginning June 2019 and lasting through December 2020. When the municipal aggregation contract was signed in the Fall, 2017, Ameren’s current rate was 0.0617.

Since this program’s inception in 2013, it has saved our residents a considerable amount of money at a time when many are struggling financially. Ever since I sponsored this concept in 2012, I also believed that residents should have a choice if they want to participate in the program.

In our community’s aggregation program, residents are not required to sign a contract and will not be contacted by a salesperson. If you are approached by an electric marketer, please be aware that it is not part of O’Fallon’s electrical aggregation program.

There is no risk for the residents and no contracts, but we still feel that it is important to have a choice in whether to participate or not, so if you ever feel that this is not a good choice, you can switch back to Ameren or any other vendor at any time by contacting Homefield Energy at 866-694-1262.

Customers who choose to opt out of the aggregation program are subject to a contract lock period, and the utility will not allow you to re-join the O’Fallon Municipal Aggregation Program for 12-months.

O’Fallon’s contract includes over 110 municipalities with a possibility of over 850,000 residents throughout the state of Illinois. Illinois law allows municipalities and counties to negotiate the purchase price of electricity on behalf of residential and small business utility customers living within their borders.

If you are a new residential electric customer, or uncertain if you are enrolled in O’Fallon’s aggregation program, please contact Homefield Energy at 866-694-1262.

If you would like to know more information or have questions, please reach out to Sandy Evans, O’Fallon director of finance, at 618-624-4500, ext. 8723, or at sevans@ofallon.org.

As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open.