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Brookfield residents should soon be receiving letters in the mail from First Energy, the company chosen by the village to supply electricity as part of the village's electrical aggregation effort.
On June 5, Village Manager Riccardo Ginex announced the village had signed a two-year contract with First Energy in the wake of a successful referendum on the April ballot.
The deal promises to nearly halve the cost of electricity to customers whose supplier is the one approved by ComEd, which delivers power to customers in northern Illinois.
"Passage of the referendum allowed the village to secure significant savings for our residents and small commercial businesses," Ginex said. "Within the coming weeks, residents will receive more information regarding the seamless transition to First Energy."
The new rate Brookfield customers will pay for electricity via First Energy will be 4.94 cents per kilowatt-hour. The rate being charged by ComEd's provider is 8.5 cents, so the new rate represents a reduction in cost to customers of 42 percent.
This does not mean electric bills will be 42 percent lower - only that portion relating to the actual electricity supplied to the customer. Customers will still receive their bills from ComEd and any service issues will continue to be handled by ComEd.
Village officials say the average electricity customer in Brookfield will save up to $300 during the first year of the program.
Customers should begin seeing the new rate reflected on their bills about 60 days after receiving the letter from First Energy.
Brookfield residents who are being supplied with power via ComEd will automatically be enrolled in the village's electrical aggregation program unless specifically choosing to opt out.
Letters sent to each electricity customer in the village will include the opt-out option and information on how to do that. Customers who already have their electricity supplied by an outside provider will not be included in the aggregation but may opt in at any time. Those customers need to contact their current electricity provider and First Energy for details on how to accomplish that.
Brookfield has chosen a 100-percent green plan from First Energy, said Assistant Village Manager Keith Sbiral. However, that does not mean that all of the power supplied to Brookfield comes from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and water power.
In fact, more than 90 percent of First Energy's power is derived from coal, nuclear or natural gas sources. Brookfield's rate for electricity from First Energy includes a premium for purchasing renewable energy credits, to support renewable energy sources.