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Voters should opt for savings

Municipal electrical aggregation appears on the ballot in Dixon and other communities. We see no downside. Other area communities already reap the benefits. Vote yes.

Published: Saturday, April 6, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

Tuesday’s Consolidated Election will be all about options.

Should voters elect this person or that person?

Should voters say yes to a sales tax increase, or no to a sales tax increase?

In several communities, including Dixon, voters will be asked to weigh in on electrical aggregation.

The question on the Dixon ballot states: “Shall the city of Dixon 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?”

A similar question will be put before voters in unincorporated Lee, Whiteside and Ogle counties; the villages of Lee, Paw Paw and Sublette; and the Ogle County townships of Grand Detour, Woosung, Oregon-Nashua, Byron, Brookville and Lincoln.

Voters have the option to say yes or no.

A “yes” vote means that the voter supports granting a unit of government, be it city, county, village or township, the authority to negotiate lower electrical rates for citizens and small businesses.

A “no” vote means that the voter wants the status quo to continue.

In Dixon, that status quo is a rate of $8.32 a kilowatt hour paid to ComEd.

Other area communities where voters approved electrical aggregation have negotiated the following rates: Franklin Grove, $4.65 a kilowatt hour; Sterling and Amboy, $4.67; Morrison, $4.77; and Oregon, $4.789.

In 2012, we reported customers in area communities that approved aggregation – Fulton, Erie, Milledgeville, Polo and Mount Morris – experienced electricity bill reductions that averaged 12 percent.

Dixon voters have defeated electrical aggregation two times. Last year, the measure lost, 52 percent to 48 percent.

So, as of now, Dixon voters have twice denied themselves the option to allow their municipality to negotiate with electricity suppliers for lower rates.

They have further denied themselves the option of accepting a lower negotiated electricity rate, or “opting out” and remaining with their current supplier.

We see no downside to electrical aggregation.

It has resulted in savings for residents and small businesses in participating communities across the region.

And, it is purely optional. Individuals who don’t want to participate don’t have to.

The residents of Amboy, Ashton, Byron, Davis Junction, Erie, Forreston, Franklin Grove, Fulton, Lanark, Milledgeville, Morrison, Mount Morris, Oregon, Polo, Shannon, Sterling and Tampico have already voted yes and are enjoying the savings.

Dixon residents would be wise to join them.

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