BLOOMINGTON — Residents in five McLean County communities will see electricity aggregation questions on their March ballots, but the county itself and several smaller towns are leaving an estimated 10,000 eligible customers out of the loop — at least for now.
McLean County Administrator Bill Wasson said the County Board may consider placing the question on the November ballot, allowing more time to answer a few questions and share information with rural communities that have not yet considered electricity aggregation.
Wasson said the majority of rural residents are served by Corn Belt Energy, a cooperative. The aggregation program applies only to investor-owned utilities.
Corn Belt has about 21,150 rural households and businesses in McLean County. Ameren Illinois has about 57,370 customers, according to the utilities.
Good Energy managing partner Charles De Casteja expects to send information to about 47,000 households and businesses in McLean County. He said he’s trying to send the mailers only to Ameren Illinois customers, but it’s been difficult to decide which addresses belong to which utility.
That’s a similar concern for the county, Wasson said.
Most, but not all residents, in unincorporated McLean County are Corn Belt customers. They aren’t eligible for the aggregation program, but would be allowed to vote on a referendum if it were posed by the county.
“Because of those complicating factors, we felt that it was better to wait and give ourselves an opportunity to be able to provide what we believe is the amount of education and information necessary to give our residents to make an informed decision on it,” Wasson said.
“With the amount of attention given to the ballot in March, it will probably ratchet up the public interest and I think that will also assist us in being able to differentiate and being able to provide information to citizens who would be affected,” he said.