Huntley is moving ahead with its electrical aggregation opt-out program starting with a public hearing next week despite losing some its biggest partners in the Northern Illinois Governmental Electric Aggregation Consortium, which will affect the consortium’s ability to leverage lower rates.
While Huntley voters approved the March 20 electric aggregation referendum, voters in Algonquin, Lake in the Hills and unincorporated McHenry County — the biggest communities in the consortium — rejected their referendums.
The Northern Illinois Government Electric Aggregation Consortium projected it would represent 200,000 households and small businesses. However, Huntley officials said that figure is reduced to 20,000 because of the failed referendums.
“We are still part of the group, that is a significant number,” Village Manager Dave Johnson said, adding the figure would be lower if Huntley was attempting electric aggregation on its own.
NIGEAC was formed to act as the facilitator for the electric aggregation opt-out programs and help communities obtain lower rates from suppliers. The opt-out program bundles homes and small businesses together to get better rates. Homeowners or businesses can opt out of the program if they choose.
The consortium includes McHenry County, Huntley, Algonquin, McHenry, Genoa, Marengo, Woodstock, Johnsburg, Lake in the Hills, McCullom Lake, Ringwood, Lakewood and Spring Grove.
Only the communities that had successful referendums will move ahead with NIGEAC, and Huntley has no plans to wait for another election season to see if new referendums would pass in the towns it failed March 20.
“We are not waiting,” Johnson said. “We have the same schedule and plan to get to market as soon as possible.”
Whether those communities could join Huntley down the road in leveraging electric rates is uncertain, Johnson said.
Next week’s public hearing, on April 5, will include a review of the plan of operations with consultant Mark Burns. A second hearing is scheduled April 12. NIGEAC is expected to select a supplier by April 20.
Huntley residents and small business owners should receive an opt-out letter by late May with the program starting June 1.