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City Finds Cheaper Electricity Supplier

Oak Forest residents will see 43 percent savings compared with ComEd's rate, city official say. This includes the added cost to guarantee 100 percent of energy comes from renewable sources.

The City of Oak Forest has selected a new energy supplier that officials said will save 43 percent off of ComEd's power rate.

FirstEnergy Solutions was chosen from six companies that submitted bids after the City Council voted to seek a new supplier on May 8. One bid actually came in as the lowest, but couldn't promise a stipulation that it would guarantee a match ComEd's rates.

The two-year contract will with FirstEnergy includes the cost to buy energy entirely from green sources.

This added cost to secure renewable energy adds an extra 0.08 cent per kilowatt-hour, bringing the contract rate to 4.82 cents per kilowatt-hour. City officials said this is 43 percent less than rate just established by ComEd from their energy suppliers of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

On Tuesday, City Administrator Troy Ishler said the contract was a "win-win" for the city.

"It's not often we get to go back to our residents and tell them we saved a ton of money on something," Ishler said.

Residents who wish to opt out of the contract with the new dealer can do so. A letter from the city will be mailed out in early June explaining how. Oak Forest residents will have two chances to stick with the current ComEd supplier.

FirstEnergy is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp, which is in Akron, OH, according to the city. It currently serves more than 1.5 million residential accounts in Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Oak Forest voters approved an electrical aggregation referendum on March 20, with authorized the city to search for a new, cheaper energy supplier. A state law that took effect in 2010 allows cities and towns to aggregate the buying power of its residents and find alternatives to ComEd's energy supplier.

Residents can still expect to see bills with the ComEd name and will still call the company for service issues. ComEd maintains the services lines for a supplier.

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Want more city government news?

Michael M. June 19, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Two other noted issues. 1- The city letter says that you can stay on budget billing. But the contract, section 4 Billing states that FES does not offer budget billing. How dose that affect the budget billing? 2-The city letter states that after you receive your confirmation letter from ComEd that you are in the FES program, you will have 7 days to cancel, The FES contract states that you have 3 days to cancel, under the Right of Rescission section. Which is it? FES also states that they can pass on any additional cost that may come up, I am paraphrasing but that means the price is not fixed until 2014, it can change just like ComEds price can change. So the contract for the price really doesn't mean anything.
Mimi June 19, 2012 at 10:10 PM
FirstEnergy solutions has NO Purchase Electricity Adjustment charge. Their rate includes supply and transmission charges (but not DELIVERY charges.) ComEd rate to compare effective June 15, 2012 is 7.85c + PEA charge of 0.5c = 8.35 cents /kWh v. FirstEnergy rate of 4.82 = savings of 42 percent on supply portion of bill. So your actual total bill will drop about 30 percent -- for the same service on what is a commodity item!
Michael M. June 20, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Mimi, you are just parroting the talking points. The real issues are in the contract.
chuck toland June 21, 2012 at 10:23 PM
I just got an email regarding a scam with electric companies trying to sell cheaper rates to OF customers. Please read and beware. If you have questions, please call city hall. Dear Mr. Toland, I want to alert you and the members of our community about the scamming that a certain electrical company did. North American Power called me today saying I would have lower electricity rates and asking me for my account number and address, etc. I was thinking this was about the new agreement Oak Forest had developed and gave them too much information. I got suspicous and said that I wanted to call my city hall before I verified any more information that they were requesting. They kept pressuring me but I hung up. I did go to city hall --to the mayor's office and told them my story. They verified that indeed I had been scammed. Mr. Ishler was good enough to call the North American Power Company. After talking briefly with the representative, I was taken off their list. I am writing you to help prevent anyone else from having this experience. I found out at city hall that at least 2 other people had had been tricked by calls from North American.
Daron Sanders July 17, 2012 at 04:49 AM
North American Power is not a scam, representatives of the company are not to call customers and try to sign them up, the persons who are doing that are not following the guide lines set up by the company, North American Power is a good company who is giving large part of it's profits to charities, and is listed in Forbes magazine, please don't let a small number of bad apples spoil the whole bunch, if you like to learn more about the positive, go to this site http://www.windpowerbiz.com Thank you.

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