Lake Forest May Enter Electric Business Through March Referendum
Residents could see a 15 percent to 20 percent drop in their electric bills.
Lake Forest residents may have the opportunity to vote on a referendum in the March 20 primary election that potentially could save them between 15 percent and 20 percent on their electric bill, according to City Manager Robert Kiely.
Kiely hopes to give residents the option to purchase electricity from sources other than Commonwealth Edison, including the city. If the referendum passes, the city can purchase bulk electricity and pass the savings on to residents. ComEd still would deliver the power.
In Winnetka, residents already receive both their power and its delivery from the village.
A referendum is required to allow Lake Forest to purchase bulk electricity for its residents.
“Illinois allows communities to buy bulk electricity for the citizens in town,” Kiely said.
Should the referendum pass, people will have three choices. “They can buy their own from companies sending all the mailers, buy from the city or continue to buy from ComEd,” Kiely said.
The city can achieve savings unavailable to individuals with larger purchases, according to Kiely. Regardless of the choice, ComEd will continue to deliver the power. “They will have a charge on their bill from ComEd for delivery,” he said.
At Tuesday night's City Council meeting, Kiely said the first step is to form a committee of residents. The committee would work with city staffers to draft an ordinance for City Council consideration at its first meeting in December.
“There will be several public meetings,” Kiely said, indicating at least one would occur before the December City Council meeting.