MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC AGGREGATION
Municipal Electric Aggregation (MEA)
MEA is the result of a 2010 law that allows Illinois municipalities to purchase electricity for residents and small businesses in their community. It allows the municipality to pool the electric supply of residents and small businesses and then seek bids from retail electric suppliers (RES) on the open market for an electric rate for its pooled MEA members.
The MEA 2010 law requires municipalities to give residents and small businesses an opportunity to opt-out of municipal MEA programs. If they choose to opt-out, they can purchase electricity at the default rate or they can contract directly with a RES. These are the same choices that residents and small businesses would have if either there was no MEA or a municipality decided to not continue their MEA program.
On the “Plug In Illinois” website, is a list of retail electric suppliers that residents/small businesses could contract with to purchase electricity. The suppliers offer a variety of plans which include renewable energy, fixed/variable electricity rates, and different contract term lengths.
City of Champaign MEA Program
In March 2012, the referendum giving the City authority to establish a MEA Program passed 5,206 vs. 2,866.
MEA Provider July 2018 to July 2021
The City of Champaign has secured a contract with Constellation NewEnergy to provide eligible residents and small businesses eligible for the Municipal Electric Aggregation Program. Constellation is offering a fixed rate of $0.0483 per kWh for 100% renewable energy** for the July 2018 through July 2021 billing cycles. Letters are expected to be mailed on May 15, 2018. The Illinois Commerce Commission part 470.240, requires the selected Retail Electric Supplier to notify customers eligible for the program, but on another retail electric program of the new aggregation program and its price. The City’s Plan of Operation and Governance describes how the City intends to operate its MEA Program.
As with previous City MEA programs, there are no enrollment, switching, or early termination fees.
**The Illinois Commerce Commission, defines what retail electric suppliers can call “renewable energy, green energy, environmentally friendly energy” in its rules. Specifically addressing the purchase and retirement of RECs to offset energy which may be in a mixed electricity grid. Constellation has been certified by the Illinois Commerce Commission to advertise they are providing 100% renewable energy based on the Illinois Commerce Commission definitions.
SECTION 412.190 RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS
No RES shall state or imply in any marketing or promotional material that any electric power and energy service marketed or sold by the RES is “green”, “renewable”, or “environmentally friendly” or provide any description that conveys the impression that the electric power and energy service has a reduced impact on the environment, unless the RES purchases and retires the appropriate number of RECs in addition to, and over and above, the power or renewable energy credits purchased, or the alternative compliance payments made, to satisfy the renewable portfolio standard requirements applicable to RES under Section 16-115D of the Act. Nothing in this subsection prevents an RES from stating that it complies with the Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard if in fact it does so, but these statements must also disclose that every RES must comply with the Renewable Portfolio Standard because RPS compliance is required by law. An RES shall not identify its product as “green”, “renewable”, or use any other term or descriptor of like or similar meaning if it is only compliant with the RPS.
If you have questions or need additional information about municipal aggregation under Constellation, please visit www.constellation.com/il-champaign. Constellation customer service is also available 24/7 at 1-844-831-6313.
You can also contact the City of Champaign Public Works Department Customer Service staff, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 217-403-4700, via email at PublicWorks@champaignil.gov.
Receipt of complaints.
The City of Champaign has received calls from Champaign residents and small business owners about aggressive and misleading phone and in-person solicitations being made by other energy providers and alternate residential suppliers. Any claims made by their representatives that they are confirming enrollment into the City’s program, that time to act is limited, and/or that Ameren account information must be provided to enroll in the program are false and should be disregarded. The City will never contact residents in this manner. Citizens should never compromise their security by providing Ameren account information to anyone unless you intend to enroll in an alternate program of your choosing.
Complaints about any aggressive behavior may be filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission Consumer Services Division by phone 800-524-0795 or online at http://www.icc.illinois.gov/consumer/complaint or with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office at 800-243-0618 or http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/filecomplaint.html. You may also call the Champaign Public Works Department at 217-403-4700. Citizens can also report aggressive in-person solicitations to the Champaign Police Department at 217-351-4545.