Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to pick an alternate electricity supplier and decide how much renewable energy they want.
The decision will be based on price figures to be received later today from three pre-qualified energy suppliers and must be locked in by tomorrow — underscoring the volitile nature of the electric supply market.
The hot issue for aldermen is likely to be whether to go with 75 percent renewable energy, as recommended by city staff, or the 100 percent level environmental activists are seeking.
Either level would meet the goals of the city's Climate Action Plan, but the 100 percent level will, based on price estimates the city has received previously, cost about 1 percent more.
The aldermen also must decide whether to lock in the price for one or two years. Two-year pricing ran about 7 percent higher in the preliminary estimates, but because of the volitile market, city staff is recommending going with the two-year option as long as the final price spread is less than 10 percent.
Evanston voters overwhelmingly approved the alternate energy supplier program in a referendum vote last month, as part of a process outlined by the state legislature.
Assuming aldermen approve the program tonight, residents will be switched to the new supplier later this year unless they opt to continue to get their electricity from Commonwealth Edison.
The program is expected to cut residential electric supply costs by about a third from what ComEd now charges.
ComEd will continue to charge customers for delivering the power and the supply and delivery charges will appear on a single bill provided by ComEd.
Tonight's special City Council meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Civic Center.