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Members discuss aggregation referendum

City referendum gets another shot April 9

DIXON – Commissioner Dennis Considine asked Monday if there were any negatives to voting in favor of municipal aggregation.

“Isn’t it a win-win?” he asked during the City Council’s second public hearing on the April 9 municipal aggregation referendum.

Municipal aggregation gives the city authority to combine households and small businesses into an electricity purchasing group, resulting in increased buying power and more competitive electricity prices.

Marni Henert, a Rock River Energy Services consultant, said there are two frequent negatives she hears from the public.

One, residents do not want government to decide their program. To that Henert said, residents can always opt out of any program the city government decides and either stick with ComEd or go with another supplier.

Two, residents do not want to get locked into the municipal agreement and see current provider ComEd’s rate go lower.

But most agreements state if ComEd’s rate ever falls below the municipal agreement, that agreement group has to at least match or release its customers back to ComEd, she said.

One Dixon resident, who did not share his name, asked if residents automatically join the municipal agreement or if they have to make the effort to opt out.

Henert said residents must return a letter to opt out. She said there are a couple opportunities for residents to opt out before a municipal program starts and once it starts, the agreement will determine whether or not there is an early termination fee for opting out.

“Most of them don’t have one,” Henert said.

In communities that have voted in favor of municipal aggregation, residents have seen savings of about $25 to $30 per month, she said.

“That’s compared to current rates,” said Henert, who noted ComEd’s price will be reduced June 1 from 8.3 cents per kilowatt hour to 6.2 cents.

Only about 11 percent to 12 percent of Dixon residents are currently utilizing an alternative supplier, she noted.

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