Electric aggregation referendum fails
Voting was steady all morning at John Mills School in Elmwood Park. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 7, 2012 5:05PM
ELMWOOD PARK — Voters in Elmwood Park appear to have again turned back a referendum concerning electrical aggregation.
With 15 of 15 precincts reporting, 3,275 people supported aggregation, while 3,613 were against, according to unofficial results from the Cook County Clerk’s Office.
Elmwood Park Village President Peter Silvestri said the second attempt at the referendum was to give the community the opportunity to save on electricity as a collective body.
“We wanted to give the people an opportunity to save money through aggregation like other communities have,” he said. “I wasn’t for or against it.”
The referendum asked if the village should have the authority to negotiate for the lowest possible rates for electricity on behalf of homeowners and small businesses in the village. The same referendum was put on the ballot in March, but it failed.
Silvestri said now that they know the community does not want electrical aggregation in that form, he plans to provide an opportunity for residents to save on their electric bill another way.
“We will do an opt-in option to save money for our residents,” he said. “There’s no referendum required for an opt-in option.”
He said the village will seek out electric aggregation companies that will opt-in residents who want to be a part of it.
If the referendum had passed, residents would have had the choice of opting out of from the electrical aggregation company the village would have dealt with.
In an effort to educate the community about the electrical aggregation issue, prior to Election Day, the village had a town hall meeting on Oct. 25 in the gym at Elmwood Park Recreation Department.
ComEd, which many users have come to know as their main electricity provider, is the conduit to provide electricity to residents and businesses by providing and maintaining the electric lines, transformers and other equipment. ComEd delivers the electricity that ComEd or a supplier has purchased it and pays a fee to ComEd to deliver the electricity on the supplier’s behalf.
With more companies supplying electricity to customers, the opportunity for cheaper rates and potential savings for the use of electricity have increased.