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Palos Hills closer to bidding for lower electric rates

Palos Hills officials recently moved one step closer to finding lower electric rates for residents and small businesses.

During a recent brief public meeting required before the city can go out to bid for lower rates, officials answered questions about the plan.  

Voters approved a referendum question on the March 20 election ballot, with 72 percent in favor and 28 percent against asking if the city should seek lower rates by “pooling” its residents and small business owners.  The council certified the  election results later in the meeting.

Larry Shove, an adviser for Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Cooperative (NIMEC), said the process was similar to the city going out and negotiating garbage rates for residents.  NIMEC is coordinating the aggregation process, though the city maintains control throughout.  At the April 19 meeting, he reminded residents that ComEd would continue to deliver power and respond to service problems.

Residents can opt out of the program by responding to a letter from the city offering them that opportunity.  Mayor Gerald Bennett is insisting there be no opt out fee for residents. 

Shover predicted residents would save $175 on their yearly bills and the city a $1 million to $1.5 million.

“It’s going to be a huge savings for Palos,” said Shover.

The city will hold a second public hearing on electric aggregation May 3 at 7 p.m. and then vote on authorizing officials to negotiate the best electric rates found.

“We’re hoping around August or September we can start providing that discount to our residents,” said Bennett.

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