BLOOMINGTON — Voters in Bloomington and Normal rejected a measure that would have allowed their cities to bundle residential Ameren customers’ electricity supply needs and hand them over to the lowest bidder.
Bloomington defeated the measure with about 59 percent voting against it. About 55 percent of voters in Normal opposed municipal electric aggregation. In the surrounding area, only Danvers, Streator and El Paso defeated the measure while more than a dozen other communities approved it.
Good Energy was hired as the consultant for Bloomington, Normal and most other municipalities that chose to put the referendum on the ballot. Where the measure was approved, cities will work with Good Energy to develop an “aggregation plan of operation and governance” that will outline the bidding process.
“Bloomington and Normal would be in the absolute minority,” said Good Energy’s Charles De Casteja, noting success throughout much of Illinois. As for the municipalities that passed the measure, he said there’s a lot of work ahead. “They’re going to go out to bid in a few weeks and within two months their residents will be enjoying rates 25 percent below Ameren’s.”
Eventually, each community will be faced with several bids from competing energy suppliers, at which point a designated representative will be authorized to sign a contract.
Residents can opt out of the program, but otherwise will be automatically enrolled. Ameren will continue to deliver electricity to those who switch suppliers, and the utility company still will handle all customer service needs, including billing.
Communities voting yes: Stanford, Village of McLean, Dwight, Roanoke, Kappa, Washburn, Deer Creek, Delavan, Village of Mackinaw, Tazewell County, Lincoln, Atlanta, Mount Pulaski, Middletown, Emden, Logan County
Communities voting no: Bloomington, Normal, Danvers, Streator, El Paso