“We recommended the 18-month rate because we have a program we run with the Chamber of Commerce and we would put the Board in to expire at the same rate for the rest of the Chamber pool which is about 80 to 120 million kilowatt hours total. So coming out of the next period we would have a lot more ability to potentially negotiate lower rates,” Haarmann told the County Board.
Haarmann will be presenting information to the Board next month on a potential annual savings of $7,000 to $9,000 on natural gas. Haarmann said there are few suppliers available — the Chamber is negotiating rates with Constellation and Center Point —recommending the county “do something to get off tariff rates and get into competitive rates.”
Haarmann told board members the county used 45,000 therms of natural gas last year, compared to 41,000 two years ago. The average Ameren rate is 65 cents per them, although most of Haarmann’s customers average 45 cents per them.
Ameren allows any commercial gas customers the opportunity to change suppliers once a year, Haarmann said, noting the deadline for a change is Dec. 31. He said if the county decides to change providers, the new rates would not become effective until May 2014.
The county’s current natural gas supplier is Ameren.