Galesburg Electric Aggregation Referendum - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Galesburg Electric Aggregation Referendum

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Voters in Galesburg will vote on this referendum on November 6th, "Shall the city of Galesburg 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 program?"

For years the city of Galesburg has received their electricity from Ameren Illinois. However, an Illinois law now allows cities to reduce energy costs for residents and smalls business through an aggregation program.

"It's bringing a pool of customers together and taking them out to all the suppliers, so they can bid on this at one time," says Steven Guy from DaCott Energy Services.

By pooling together the city's electric needs, the middle man is cut out and the city goes to electric suppliers to find the best rate.

"It allows brokers to buy on behalf of groups, like municipalities," says Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza.

In other cities, aggregation has lowered customers' bills by about 35%. In Galesburg's case, the city will only pursue their own supplier if there's a savings.

"It's just that simple," adds Guy, "If there's not a savings, it's just not going to happen."

If there's a savings Galesburg residents will receive a notice through the mail and they can opt in or opt out.

People who opt in could receive reduced rates starting in February. Those who opt out of the program will stay with Ameren Illinois for all their electric needs. Ameren Illinois will still be involved since the company owns all the poles, wires and substations.

"It's the exact same thing it is right now. They're going to maintain the wires, they're going to read the meters, they're going to handle the billing and they're going to be responsible for outages," says Guy.

 People who are on energy assistance would not be apart of the aggregation program.

"They would be scrubbed out and they would stay on their current program," adds Guy.

If voters approve the aggregation referendum, city council will pass an ordinance, hold 2 public meeting and then find an energy supplier. If the measure fails, the city can put it back on the ballot in a year.

For more information on the aggregation referendum, click here.