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Another chance to vote for lower local power rates

Dixon residents are among the decreasing few who have not approved lower electrical rates. A third opportunity to approve municipal electrical aggregation will come in April. Especially after this year, we think they deserve a break.

Published: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

As people go out and about to complete their Christmas shopping for others, some might be tempted to buy a little present for themselves. And what’s wrong with that, as long as it doesn’t break the budget?

Well, because of action taken this week by the Dixon City Council, Dixon residents will face a somewhat similar situation on the April ballot.

They will vote for various local elected offices, of course. But after performing that duty, they will be faced with a referendum about municipal electrical aggregation.

A “yes” vote means that the voter supports granting the city the authority to negotiate lower electrical rates for regular citizens and small businesses. A “no” vote means that the voter wants the status quo to continue.

The status quo is a rate of $8.32 a kilowatt hour paid to ComEd.

The proposed new aggregated rate offered by a different supplier could be significantly less.

According to Marni Henert of Rock River Energy Services, other communties that approved aggregation now enjoy these lower negotiated rates: Sterling, $4.67 a kilowatt hour; Amboy, also $4.67; Franklin Grove, $4.65; Morrison, $4.77; and Oregon, $4.789.

The estimated annual savings for Dixon electricity customers would be $345 a year, Henert said, which averages about $29 a month.

Twice before, in 2011 and earlier this year, Dixon voters turned down municipal electrical aggregation.

Why?

We’re not sure.

There appears to be no downside to the process, unless, of course, you are ComEd.

Local folks will have plenty of time to research the issue, perhaps checking with their friends in neighboring communities to see how the system works elsewhere.

We do know that people in other area towns have saved money. That extra money can be used for whatever those folks want: food, bills, entertainment, gasoline, even an extra Christmas present or two.

So, as Dixonites wrap up their holiday shopping, it’s OK to pick up that little gift for their own stockings.

And when April rolls around, it’s OK to vote for lower electrical rates.

Especially after this year, Dixon residents deserve a financial break. With their votes, they can make it happen.

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