Nearly two-thirds of Illinois towns with municipal aggregation programs have gotten their citizens better electric rates than Evanston provides.
With 385 towns now participating in the municipal aggregation program, rates range from a low of 3.909 cents per kilowatt hour achieved by 16 communities to a lonely high of 6.23 cents for Fulton in western Illinois.
Evanston’s rate is 4.797 cents per kilowatt hour.
The statewide data is compiled by the PlugInIllinois website maintained by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Evanston’s decision to opt for 100 percent renewable energy for its power supply had relatively little impact on the cost. Constellation New Energy, the winning bidder in Evanston, offered a price for the least-green available supply just one-tenth of a cent less.
But in the overall ranking of communities, without the renewable energy component Evanston’s price would have moved from being worse than 65 percent of towns to worse than 54 percent — because so many communities were tightly bunched around the midpoint of the price distribution.
Evanston is about to go out to bids to renew its aggregation program, and Monday night the City Council voted to make some changes to the bid request.
They opted to seek contract terms for any period from 12 to 36 months, rather than only 12 or 24 months.
They added more flexibility to the renewable energy credits option — seeking bids for any percentage mix, rather than just 75 or 100 percent as was done last year.
And they added a new option for some percentage of energy directly generated by a renewable source, rather than through the energy credits program.
There was no discussion by aldermen Monday of how the city might tune its request to get the most favorable rate, but at the time of last year’s bidding, prices for longer contracts were higher than for the minimum 12 month period.