Electric bills for participants in Evanston’s municipal aggregation program will jump about 16 percent in August.

But the increase is somewhat smaller than customers would experience if they were buying their electric supply from Commonwealth Edison.

The city recently approved a new contract with Homefield Energy for the aggregation program. Homefield was the low bidder — but prices this year were dramatically higher than what the city was able to obtain under its existing contract that expires at the end of July.

Under the current contract, Evanston customers pay $0.05192 per kilowatt hour for power, which is supplied by Verde Energy.

For the first two years of the new contract the price will be $0.07644 per kilowatt hour — a 47 percent increase.

Then the price drops a bit, to $0.06923. That’s 33 percent more than what we’re paying now.

But the new rates, the city says, will still be somewhat less than ComEd’s published rates, which are pegged at $0.08096 per kilowatt hour for June through September this year. That’s nearly 56 percent more than what Evanston residents on the aggregation plan are paying now.

The supply charge that’s increasing amounts to about one third of a typical electric bill. The rest is composed of delivery charges paid to ComEd and various taxes and fees. So while the supply charge is going up 47 percent, the increase in the total bill will be around 16 percent.

Evanston opted to purchase 100 percent renewable energy under the new contract, using renewable energy credits from facilities including wind farms located in Illinois or a neighboring state.

The extra cost for the renewable energy credits, the city says, amounts to about a dollar a month for the average single family home that uses about 9,000 kilowatt hours per year, or roughly 1 percent of the total bill.

If you’re of a certain age, the complexity of the new rates may bring back fond memories of that ComEd commercial from the 1960s….

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Electric Bills and Renewable Energy

    To me it's certainly worth the incremental cost increase to be going all renewable.  In time – at least if we can manage politically to stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry – renewables will be cheaper.  And there's an added benefit:  if we can do it rapidly enough maybe we can slow down our unseemly rush to becoming an unoccupied planet.

    1. We already know how–

      Pyrometalic reactors using thorium would provide the electric energy we need.  They are much safter than reactors we knew of in the past, produce 1% of the waste and even that can be prevented from being ill used.  When we think of 'disasters' of nuclear we think of poor design or planning [Japan] and forget about all the deaths caused by coal mining, costs of rare materials for all the 'ecological' solutions [and the human costs for mining], etc..

      The problem is the same public that wants to tear-down buildings when a murder has occured there, won't even consider them.  All the other sources—bio, wind, etc. are niche solutions.

      Of course it is easier for people to complain about energy sources rather than walk, bike, sell the car, take public transporation.  Look how much Washington talks about energy problems and then fly off to those meetings, vacations, fund raising events, junkets.  Are any worse than Obama and Biden ?

    2. Renewable energy

      The feds need to stop subsidizing both non-renewable (4 – 5 billion / year) and renewable ( 90 – 100 billion / year) .  The feds should only put money into research that will make renewable energy a profitable venture without subsidies. Solar works now in climates that have many sunny, clear days but does not produce enough energy. Wind technology in its current form will never pay for itself without subsidies. Almost every windmill built today has a negative impact on energy and maintenance. The huge wind farm along interstate 55 is producing power less than 50 % of the time. It has enormous maintenance costs. With out receiving our federal tax dollars, they would be out of business.

      Billions for research and nothing for businesses that will never make money.

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