Mt. Vernon Register-News

November 8, 2012

City joins electric aggregation group

By TESA GLASS
CNHI

MT. VERNON — The city is expected to see a savings of $40,000 in its electric service after becoming part of an electric aggregation.

“Our contract with Mid America Electric is up in December,” City Manager Ron Neibert said. “We joined the Chamber electric aggregation group, and we’re expecting $40,000 in savings on a two year contract.”

According to Brandon Bullard, executive director of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, the aggregation group, Affordable Gas and Electric, joined the chamber several months ago, and approached the chamber executive board with the proposal to form an aggregation group.

“They are based in Effingham, but have expanded into Mt. Vernon with a managing partner, Jeff Haarmann,” Bullard explained. “They came to us with the proposal for area businesses, municipalities and school districts after they joined with Ameren Energy Marketing, which is also a chamber member. We did a lot of research, and decided to get the word out about the bulk energy promotion. It has been up to individual businesses to decide if they want to be a part of the group.”

Bullard said the bulk electric rate negotiated with Ameren is “below, well below the market base price.” The ability to get the lower price is based on the principal of volume selling — the more members of the group, the lower the price.

“Right now, we have more than 60 of the Chamber members who have opted in at the rate for two years,” Bullard said. “Some of those are the high school, the city, Magnum Steel and other large electric consumers. Because of the large volume some of those businesses use, the small businesses can be part of the group and get the better price.”

In total, between Effingham, Mt. Vernon and the Belleville Diocese of churches and parochial schools, there are more than 230 businesses in the electric aggregate.

“We know there will be $800,000 in savings for the Jefferson County members over two years,” Bullard said. “That is money that can be reinvested into the businesses or into the community.”