A municipal aggregation program in Illinois --- under which a city or town selects the electricity supplier for all customers unless the customer opts-out -- has returned customers to Commonwealth Edison for supply, after the aggregation could no longer beat ComEd's electric rate.
The move once again shows that municipal aggregations, often touted for their savings, are not the best deal for customers. Instead of going with the aggregation, customers should shop around for the lowest electric rate that fits their specific needs and preferences.
Specifically, the Daily Herald reports that the Village of North Aurora, Illinois is returning electric customers to Commonwealth Edison for supply after the village's municipal aggregation could no longer beat ComEd's rate.
While it's good that the aggregation returned customers to ComEd rather than charging a higher rate, it shows that aggregations are not a silver bullet to your electricity bill. While initial headlines about municipal aggregation savings may appear appetizing, the savings may be short-lived, based on market changes and other factors.
Customers are better off by taking direct control over their electric bill by shopping for a customized low electric rate, rather just leaving things to the local government aggregation.
While aggregation is touted as bringing bigger savings by pooling customers together, individuals can often get even lower energy rates by putting suppliers in direct competition for your business. Because the aggregation has to serve all types of customers with all different sizes and kinds of usage, the one-size-fits-all aggregation rate may be higher than necessary, and by paying it you may be subsidizing other customers who have higher costs.