Electricity customers in Riverside and Brookfield got some good news last week when the villages received power bids through their electrical aggregation efforts.

Riverside customers can expect to save close to $400 in annual electricity costs over the next two years after the village nails down a contract with Direct Energy, which was the lowest of four bidders on May 8, said Village Manager Peter Scalera.

While the cost of supplying electricity through ComEd jumped to 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour that day, Direct Energy offered to provide electricity to Riverside for 4.88 cents per k-hour.

Scalera said the village is working now to finalize a two-year contract with Direct Energy to lock in that rate. In addition, Scalera said, the contract will include no early termination fee if customers wish to change energy providers should ComEd’s price ever fall below the Direct Energy rate.

It’s unclear what the savings will be for Brookfield customers because Village Manager Riccardo Ginex on Monday said the village is still working out details for a contract with its preferred vendor. Ginex declined to say which provider Brookfield was considering. The village received bids from six energy firms, including Direct Energy, First Energy, Integrys, MC Squared, Constellation and Nordic.

However, it looks like the winning vendor may be First Energy, which was the lowest bidder to provide Brookfield with an all-green option. According to bid materials provided to Brookfield from First Energy, the cost for electricity would be anywhere between 4.43 and 5.50 cents per kilowatt-hour depending on the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources, the early termination fee for customers who opt out of the program at a later date, and the length of the contract.

Ginex said Brookfield is leaning toward a two-year deal with the company. If Brookfield chooses First Energy for a two-year contract, the cost for electricity would be between 4.72 and 4.94 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The cost quoted by the energy companies is for the price of the electricity itself. Distribution costs through ComEd and taxes itemized on individual bills will continue to be the same.

After Riverside and Brookfield finalize the contract with their energy suppliers, the villages will send out two “opt out” letters to all electricity customers within the towns. Anyone who gets electricity through ComEd will automatically be included in his respective village’s aggregation program unless he chooses to opt out in writing, via a form that will be sent to each home.

Any customer who already uses a provider other than ComEd for electricity will not be included in the aggregation. If those customers wish to opt into the village’s program, they’ll need to work those details out with their current provider and contact Direct Energy to join Riverside’s program or Brookfield’s eventual provider choice.

According to Scalera, Direct Energy has estimated that Riverside customers using an average of 10,700 kilowatt-hours will save $398 annually by being included in the aggregation rather than using ComEd.

In addition, Riverside chose Direct Energy’s “all green” bid. This doesn’t necessarily mean the village will be receiving all of its power from green energy sources, but rather that the supplier will issue energy credits to help establish new renewable energy sources.

Direct Energy’s “brown” bid was 4.77 cents per kilowatt-hour. However, Riverside officials chose the green option based on the village’s 2009 advisory referendum that overwhelmingly favored exploring the implementation of sustainable practices.

“Trustees Mark Shevitz and Joe Ballerine, who were the board’s liaisons for the aggregation program, felt that was a statement the community made,” Scalera said.

Both Ginex and Scalera said customers should see some savings on their bills later this summer.