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WJBD - Local News - Cities of Salem and Centralia Choose Homefield Energy to Supply Electricity

Cities of Salem and Centralia Choose Homefield Energy to Supply Electricity

By Will Doolin, WJBD News

After the citizens of Salem and Centralia voted last month to approve electric aggregation for their communities, both have now chosen an energy supplier. Salem and Centralia, along with several other communities across central and southern Illinois, have selected Homefield Energy as their new residential electric supplier. Homefield Energy is a subsidiary of Ameren. 

Salem City Manager Bill Gruen says he was over in Granite City Tuesday to see what bids Good Energy received for the second round of their electric aggregation process. Homefield Energy was the winning bid and the paperwork was signed Tuesday. 

Gruen says depending on some choices made by municipalities, some rates may be different. "If a community goes with a traditional non-green supply, which is what Salem chose. Salem also does not collect any utility taxes at present. So there was not a need for us to collect a fee from the program. We were able to get the lowest rate possible at .03909 for the supply part. That rate should be good for a 17-month period", said Gruen. 

Gruen says at the end of the period, they will be eligible to get new bids for Salem, along with those communities in the first round of electric aggregation. 

He states he is pleased with the bid the city received. "I thought there would be a chance that the bid was not going to be as good as to what the communities in the first round got. I found that with some of the choices that Salem is making, in some cases our rate is lower than the communities are getting in the first round. I'm very pleased that Good Energy has handled this extremely well", said Gruen. 

Gruen says customers will receive opt-out notices within in the next month if they choose to opt out of the program. He recommends that people should take a look at their current electric bill and compare with what they could be paying to get a sense of how much money they could be saving. Customers could see a savings of 15 to 24-percent off the cost of current Ameren electric bills. 

Customers will still receive a bill from Ameren, but their electricity will come from Homefield Energy. The program is only for those who have Ameren Electric customers. Tri-County Electric Coop customers are not eligible to participate in the program under state law. 

The Villages of Albers and Beckemeyer in Clinton County, who voted in favor of electric aggregation as well, are also going with Homefield Energy as their supplier. 

In May 2012, Homefield Energy was selected as the winning supplier to 50 Illinois communities which passed the referendum to participate in electric aggregation, representing more than 200,000 customers. With Wednesday's announcement, Homefield Energy will now supply electricity to a total of nearly 500,000 homes.

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