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      Village of Ursa to vote to seek lower prices for electricity supply

      Voters will decide on a number of issues in the upcoming elections.

      For one community, that includes an option of lower electricity costs.

      The community of Ursa will vote on that very issue on March 18.

      The March 18 election will decide whether the village will create a buyers group to seek lower prices for its electricity supply.

      If passed, the village would request bids from supply companies, which would provide electricity at a fixed, flat rate for the duration of the contract.

      Customers using this method have seen a savings of around 15 to 18 percent, according to Reg Ankrom, from the Southern Illinois Municipal Electric Cooperative.

      Ankrom says it's a popular program in the communities who use it, with around three to five percent opting out.

      He spoke on the reasons some opt out.

      "Generally the reasons are they're familiar with Ameren, they've been on Ameren a long time, they're loyal to the compan," said Ankrom. "I'm a retired Ameren employee, so I'm loyal to the company too. On the other hand, we seek to bring the best rates possible to our client community."

      Homes and small businesses would be automatically enrolled.

      However participation is not required.

      Customers can opt out without penalties.

      "For those who would suffer a disadvantage with the program, we actually take them off the program before the program starts," Ankrom said. "We don't want to put people on who would lose savings."

      If the village finds a reduced rate with a company that they will open a contract with, residents could see the switch take place in late April or May, says Ankrom.

      A town hall meeting will be held in Ursa to allow residents to ask questions about the possible referendum, which will be held on Monday, March 17 at 6:30pm at the Ursa Town Hall.

      Griggsville, Illinois will also be considering seeking lower electric supply cost on their ballot as well.