Finance committee hears 2nd aggregation proposal
8 months, 1 week ago by Denise Donley
SIMEC presents at Tuesday night's finance committee meeting
The second potential electric aggregation consultant, Southern Illinois Municipal Energy Company (SIMEC), presented its proposal to the City finance committee Tuesday night.
SIMEC is an energy solutions company serving commercial and industrial end users.
SIMEC stressed the importance of face to face contact at the meeting. In addition to explaining the program and addressing Frequently Asked Questions about the program via direct mail brochures, local newspapers, radio, television and Town Hall meetings, SIMEC will also have a community outreach team in Quincy.
Local people would be employed part time at an office here in Quincy to assist with any questions and/or concerns residents may have about the energy aggregation program.
President of SIMEC Stephen Thayer says, “We want to be face to face. We feel it’s very important to be at community events, set up booths and have our community outreach team there. I thought that instead of doing it from long distance, I thought it be a great idea to get a business together with local people, local residents, and local constituents.”
All those from SIMEC that would be working on the aggregation project already live in Illinois.
SIMEC Regulatory Advisor/Senior Consultant Reg Ankrom adds, “We bring a local person who can answer the questions. That’s our job- to bring information as to what aggregation is all about.”
Another benefit SIMEC promoted at the meeting was the savings residents would find with aggregation would flow back into the local economy.
If the referendum passes, residents would be notified twice by Ameren Illinois and the winning energy supplier. It would be at this time, residents would choose to opt out of the program.
Residents would then have 14 to 21 days to choose if they would like to opt out. If residents don’t respond, they would automatically be opted into the aggregation program.
As in Good Energy’s proposal, SIMEC’s competitor for this aggregation project, SIMEC also states that Ameren will still own the power lines and transmission and distribution services and will still service resident’s account when it comes to power outages, bills, etc.
If Ameren rates were to drop lower than those of aggregation at the time the City would enter into an agreement with SIMEC, the City would not have to enter into the contract. Also, if Ameren rates dropped lower during the stated contract period, the energy supplier would have the opportunity to match Ameren’s rate or allow residents to opt out of the aggregation program.
In addition, after the community has completed the duration of the term of the contract, if future energy prices do not allow savings, residents will automatically be switched to Ameren with no fees.
SIMEC’s energy aggregation proposal would save residents between 20% to 36% on their electric bill.
If a resident was to decide he or she did not want to be in the aggregation program after the beginning of the contract, SIMEC would never profit off a termination.
Would the resident then have to pay a fee for termination of a contract?
Thayer says it depends on the community. If the City chooses to not have any termination fees for its residents, the overall rate for energy could be a bit higher than what it would be if there were fees involved, but Steve says it’s whatever fits for the community as a whole.
Director of Administrative Services Gary Sparks says the city of Quincy is not interested in making a dime off an aggregation program.
Thayer adds, “You’re not our customers, you’re our partners. Quincy is a perfect sized city for us and we’re eager to step in.”
Ankrom says SIMEC would make less than one tenth of one cent per kWh of profit.
After a successful referendum, SIMEC would hope to have residents in the aggregation program by January, the latest February of 2013.
The finance committee will now compare the two proposals for the November ballot.