CHICAGO - Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that the City of Chicago has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) as part of its open and competitive process for exploring the potential for municipal aggregation to deliver electricity bill savings and cleaner energy to Chicago residents and small businesses. The RFQ will contain necessary criteria to ensure bidding companies have the capacity to handle a large customer base, deliver top quality customer service, and provide cleaner energy or additional energy efficiency options.
"Municipal aggregation can potentially bring real savings to Chicago residents and small businesses through lower monthly electric bills, and can help the City increase its investment in renewable, clean energy sources,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This is the first step of what will be an open and competitive process designed to deliver savings for Chicago ratepayers while ensuring a seamless transition and top quality customer service."
Chicago voters have the opportunity to vote on municipal aggregation during the early vote period from now until Saturday, November 3 or on Election Day on Tuesday, November 6. Under municipal aggregation, cities can negotiate an electricity supply deal on behalf of residential and small commercial customers.
More than 200 Illinois towns have already established aggregation programs. If the referendum passes, the City will be able to negotiate through an open and competitive process an electricity supply agreement with a certified electricity supplier that could lower monthly electricity bills for residents and small businesses, and customers could start seeing savings near the beginning of 2013. Chicago residents and small businesses will have the opportunity to opt out of the program before it takes effect, and once customers are in the program, they will be able to leave at any time.
The RFQ issued today launches the first of two phases for the competitive bidding process that will help guarantee the best savings and energy package possible. The RFQ will require potential bidders to meet a number of customer service, account management, clean energy, and corporate health requirements. A competitive pricing bid will then be released as soon as possible after the November referendum if it passes in order to solicit prices from only the most qualified firms.
If the City proceeds with establishing a municipal aggregation program, the transition will be seamless. Although the City will enter into a contract with one or more alternative suppliers, ComEd will still be responsible for delivering electricity, reading meters, and responding to outages. ComEd will also continue sending monthly bills and receiving payments, and customers will be able to keep the same budget billing and automatic payment options they have now.
In advance of the November 6 referendum, the City is taking steps to ensure that every resident is informed about the benefits of municipal aggregation. Last week, the City held public meetings at the Arturo Velazquez Institute in Pilsen and Kennedy-King College in Englewood. This coming week, the City will hold two public meetings: at Truman College at 1145 W. Wilson Ave on Tuesday, October 30th at7pm and at Wilbur Wright College at 4300 N. Narragansett Ave on Thursday, November 1st at 7 pm.
For more information on Chicago’s municipal aggregation, and updates on community meetings in their neighborhoods, residents and small commercial customers should visit: www.cityofchicago.org/electricityaggregation.