The City of Centralia was recently notified by our Municipal Aggregation consultant Good Energy that Ameren Illinois has established its new residential electric rate for customers in the City of Centralia. These rates went into effect June 1. The new Ameren rate is $0.08162 compared to the City’s Program rate of $0.1220. The City’s Program rate is an all-inclusive fixed rate and will not change until it expires in December of 2024. However, City residents need to understand the newly filed Ameren rate can return to an upward swing anytime during that period.
With the extreme volatility in the energy markets, in terms of both commodity and capacity, aggregation programs have deviated away from the primary goal of consistently saving the residents money to seeking the best available rates and allowing those rates to be insurance and protection during volatile times in the market while retaining the option to leave at any time without penalty.
The City’s Program has been very successful since its inception in 2012. Good Energy’s Government Affairs Director, Steve Bryant asks residents to remain patient, and let the program continue to work longterm. Centralia residents just came off a program where the City’s program was locked in for 24 months at a low rate of $0.0439 while Ameren’s rate went above $0.1200 for several months. The program is based on longevity and those communities who belong to the program, such as Centralia, have all saved money over the Ameren rate since the inception of the program. Not only has it saved the residents money over the length of the program, but it has also given residents the rate protection regardless of the volatility and conditions in the marketplace.
A key component of our aggregation program is allowing residents a cost-free opt-out option. The program is designed for the residents to have a choice whether to participate in the program or not.
Again, although Centralia’s municipal aggregation rate will be higher than Ameren’s current default rate, it is expected that high levels of volatility will continue. While the municipal aggregation rate is higher, the current agreement provides stability, protection, and optionality with a fixed rate through December 2024.
Due to Ameren’s current lower rates, residents may choose to opt out of the municipal aggregation program. If residents wish to opt out of the program, please contact Constellation New Energy 24/7 at 833-618-0295 or you can go to the website www.constellation.com/il-Centralia. In order to opt out you will need your Ameren Account Number, name on the account, and service address. All of this can be found on your Ameren electric utility bill.
Customers that choose to opt out of the aggregation program are subject to a contract lock period. There is a utility hold after leaving the aggregation and returning to Ameren. If the resident does not choose a different alternative supplier within 60 days, they must remain with the Utility (Ameren) for an additional 10 months or 1 year total and will not be able to re-join the Centralia Municipal Aggregation Program should Ameren increase their rates.
The City of Centralia has worked hard to give residents a choice while still protecting them from market volatility. When the current municipal aggregation contract was signed in the Fall, 2022, Ameren’s rate was $0.1227, and forecasted to go even higher by many of the experts. Therefore, we wanted to protect the residents from the possibility of those higher rates, and the program fulfilled that objective. Therefore, we urge the residents to do their own research to determine what the best choice is for them.