Moving quickly to save Chicagoans money on their energy bills, Mayor Rahm Emanuel this week outlined the steps the City is following to ensure a transparent and expedient process to select an energy supplier following the referendum supporting municipal electricity aggregation that Chicagoans approved this week.
“Voters clearly supported saving money by buying electricity in bulk, and we are moving quickly to provide residents and small businesses with energy savings,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This will be an open and competitive process which ensures the best available price and increases the City’s use of clean, renewable energy sources.”
In the coming weeks, Mayor Emanuel will work with City Council to prepare an ordinance that authorizes the City to establish an aggregation program. The City will hold two public hearings, which will complement the four hearings held prior to the vote on the referendum.
The City started the screening process last week to determine whether interested energy suppliers meet the strict requirements to handle Chicago’s customer base. More than 100 energy companies attended an information session. In order to qualify, a company must demonstrate it has the supply capacity and ability to deliver cleaner energy, along with strong customer service and a record of financial stability.
Once a set of qualified bidders has been identified, the City will proceed to a competitive request for pricing designed to achieve maximum savings for ratepayers. City officials expect the selection process to be completed in February 2013.
As required by State law, the City will develop a Plan of Operation and Governance the provides the broad outlines of the program, including key customer service elements such as opt-out periods and switching fees.
The City will invest a portion of the savings into cleaner energy or energy efficiency and has retained the Delta Institute to assist with convening community, business, and sustainability stakeholders in identifying and analyzing options.
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