Frequently Asked Questions
I received a letter from Ameren that my current electric supply choice is expiring. Does this mean my electricity will be shut off?
No, you are currently a member of the City’s Municipal Electric Aggregation (MEA) program. Integrys Energy Services, Inc electricity supply contract for the City’s MEA program ends June 2014. Since the City will not continue its MEA program, you will have to choose another electricity supplier.
What are my choices for electric supply if the City’s MEA program does not continue?
You would have two electric supplier choices:
1. You could select a new energy supplier for your individual residence. There is a list of retail electric suppliers to choose from at the ICC Plug-In Illinois website. There are a wide range of options which include renewable energy, fixed/variable electricity rate, and different contract term lengths.
2. You could also choose to do nothing; Ameren would then be your electricity supplier. The Ameren rate will fluctuate monthly, and you will have to stay with Ameren electricity service for a minimum of 12 billing months, per Ameren regulations. Ameren’s rate in June 2014 was 3.714 cents per kWh.
What is the City’s recommendation?
Of the two electric supply choices available to the City’s MEA members, the City recommendation is to do nothing and let Ameren become your electricity supplier. The City has received no electricity rate bids for its aggregation program that are lower than than the Ameren default rate. The City expects (as of May, 2014) that Ameren’s net charge per kWh to Champaign customers will average less than 4.0 cents for the next 12 months. Ameren’s “default” rate is adjusted monthly by a “purchased energy adjustment” (PEA). Ameren’s PEA has been negative for many months, lowering their net kWh. The City expects this pattern to continue through March 2015 and perhaps longer.
Why is the City not continuing its MEA program?
The City cannot obtain a competitive electricity rate from retail electric suppliers that “meets or beats” the Ameren default rate when adjusted by the purchased electricity adjustment (PEA). (See PEA and MEA Challenges)
Is this the end of the City’s MEA program?
No, the City is not terminating the MEA program. The City is only discontinuing this program for the time period June 2014 – May 2015. If electricity market conditions change and the City can obtain a competitive electricity rate, the City can restart its MEA program the next year.
Why is Urbana continuing its MEA program and Champaign is not?
The City of Urbana should be contacted to explain the reasons why they are continuing their MEA program.
It has been a requirement that the City’s MEA program must save members on their electricity bills. From May 2012 to June 2014, the City saved its members $1.6M on their electricity bills.
The City is not continuing its MEA program in June 2014 to May 2015 because the City cannot obtain a competitive electricity rate from retail electric suppliers that “meets or beats” the Ameren default rate when adjusted by the purchased electricity adjustment (PEA).
When competitive rates are available, the City will consider restarting the MEA program.
I am interested in Green Energy Alternatives. Are there any electric suppliers I can choose from which offer Green Power?
Based on City staff research conducted in Spring 2014, there are several retail electric suppliers who could provide high percentage Green Energy Alternatives to City of Champaign residents and businesses. Those suppliers include Ambit Energy (http://www.ambitenergy.com), Clearview Energy http://www.clearviewenergy.com), Liberty Power Holdings LLC (http://www.libertypowercorp.com) and Viridian Energy PA LLC (http://www.viridian.com). You may also contact any of the other retail electric suppliers listed on the ICC Plug-in Illinois website (http://www.pluginillinois.org/Suppliers.aspx) to inquire about any Green Energy programs they may offer.
Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
If you have additional questions, please contact the City’s Public Works Department at 217.403.4700. Public Works Customer Service is available Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Receipt of complaints.
The City of Champaign has received calls from Champaign residents and small business owners about aggressive and misleading phone and in-person solicitations being made by other energy providers and alternate residential suppliers. Any claims made by their representatives that they are confirming enrollment into the City’s program, that time to act is limited, and/or that Ameren account information must be provided to enroll in the program are false and should be disregarded. The City will never contact residents in this manner. Citizens should never compromise their security by providing Ameren account information to anyone unless you intend to enroll in an alternate program of your choosing.
Complaints about any aggressive behavior may be filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission Consumer Services Division by phone 800.524.0795 or online at http://www.icc.illinois.gov/consumer/complaint or with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office at 800.243.0618 or http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/filecomplaint.html. You may also call the Champaign Public Works Department at 217.403.4700. Citizens can also report aggressive in-person solicitations to the Champaign Police Department at 217.351.4545.