City Clerk Working to Alleviate Confusion on Aggregation Program Electricity Rate Increases

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 16, 2022 at 11:26am

The City Clerk is trying to help alleviate any confusion Jacksonville residents have when it comes to electricity rates increasing.

City Clerk Skip Bradshaw updated the City Council during the regular meeting Monday night on the status of the Municipal Electricity Aggregation Program.

In October Bradshaw announced that the city had participated in the aggregation bidding process and only received one bid, which is nearly the same rate that Ameren Illinois charges now, and roughly three times the city’s current rate.

Bradshaw says the current provider, Homefield Energy informed the city ahead of the aggregation bidding process that they would not be submitting a bid, which he says is unusual. That agreement is set to expire at the end of the year.

Constellation, the new supplier, will supply electricity at a rate of 12.22 cents per kilowatt hour, a more than 300% increase from Homefield’s current rate of 4.039 cents. Bradshaw says Jacksonville residents have started receiving letters about the change which is leading to a lot of confusion on what they should do about the program, and higher bills.

“Basically the bottom line is the consumer that wants to stay in the aggregation program, they don’t need to do anything. If in fact, they want to get out of the aggregation program, they can do that by searching for their own supplier and then have that supplier and contacting Ameren in going that way.

What I’m trying to get out to the public right now is, they will be receiving letters, probably two from Ameren and one from Constellation. There is nothing they need to do if they want to stay in the program,”

Bradshaw says that volatility in the electricity supply market is causing the increases, and he expects those who have Ameren as their electric supplier will see another dramatic increase in rates in June 2023.

He says compounding the problem is that Constellation is not set to start supplying electricity for the city until March of next year, leaving a gap that will be filled by Ameren directly. “Ameren’s rates are higher than what we are going to get. We are going to be on the Ameren rate for a couple of months, that’s just the way it had to be.

Our rate is going to be 12.2 cents, right now we are a little over four cents, so that’s almost triple. The fact that I want to make clear to everyone is that [cost] is only the supply. It’s not on the delivery charge that Ameren charges to deliver, it’s only on the supply side. So it’s not going to be three times your bill, it’s only going to be three times what you use.”

Bradshaw says his office has already begun receiving calls from residents asking for an explanation after receiving letters in the mail about the change in providers. So much so he says, he has had to implement a phone option where residents calling into his office can press 1 and hear an explanation of the current situation and their options of staying with or opting out of the program.