SPRING VALLEY — The city of Spring Valley is one step closer to electrical aggregation after Monday's city council meeting, but it wasn't smooth sailing.
Council members were all set to pass the ordinance authorizing electrical aggregation Monday night. But they didn't realize they also had to chose a energy provider or else the energy rate bids may be forfeit.
“Things seem to be moving pretty fast,” Mayor Cliff Banks said.
The ordinance would help pave the way for electrical aggregation, but the bids provided from the electrical provider could only be guaranteed for a length of time because of the volatility of the electrical market. If the city did not choose a provider, then they would have had to rebid.
City attorney Tom Tonozzi had several questions about the contract with the provider and wanted clarification. He wanted to know exactly how financially secure the electricity provider is, information on the service program for the provider, fees for opting in or out of the program, and if there would be any service fees from Ameren.
“This is new territory,” Tonozzi said.
Rock River Energy Services representative Charles Dana tried to alleviate the council's fears. Residents will have two separate opportunities to opt out at no cost. Once those two opportunities have passed, he said there would be no fees for opting out of the program and going back to Ameren, but there would be a $25 fee for residents and $50 fee for businesses that choose a different retail electrical provider.
Also, choosing an electrical provider wouldn't obligate the city to choosing it. Once the contract has been received, the city can review it, and if they don't like it, they can decide not to choose it and rebid.
The council voted 7-1 to pass the aggregation ordinance with alderman Mike Richetta voted against the ordinance. Richetta said there was a review letter he would like to have seen before passing it. The council then unanimously chose a three-year contract with Ameren Homefield Energy as the electrical provider with the provision that the city attorney review the contract.
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