What's next for electric aggregation for some people in Adams County

It appears that many towns in Illinois are jumping on the electric aggregation bandwagon.

Cities and county governments are negotiating lower electric rates and some customers could see a savings of between 20 and 25 percent on their annual electric bill. But before anyone sees any savings, voters have to approve the proposal and then the local governmental body has to negotiate a price and the length of the contract.

Here is West Central Illinois, voters in Quincy said yes, as did voters in Cass County, Morgan County and even Scott County.

But voters in Adams County are going to see the proposal for electric aggregation for at least another year.

Earlier this week, the Adams County Board raised many questions when the aggregation proposal was put to them during their regular monthly meeting. It was at that time members voted to table the aggregation issue and hold off on putting the issue to voters.

"There are a lot of questions and of it was simply us putting it on the ballot I don't think all the questions would have arose, but it's a lot more detailed then that, it basically puts the county on the electricity business and I'm not sure we need to be in the energy business as a county," county board chairman Les Post said.

Reg Ankrom is a senior consultant for the company that was talking to the county about the aggregation issue. He said SIMEC is still willing to answer any questions the county may have about the electric aggregation proposal that was before the county board.

"We will continue to work with the county. I think that have the right to have their questions answered. They need to have those questions answered and feel comfortable with electric aggregation," Ankrom said.

Because the county board chairman feels there won't be another meeting before the deadline to get the issue on the upcoming ballot, it will be at least a year before there's another chance to consider the aggregation issue.

During the meeting one of the major concerns board members had with the aggregation issue was who would be able to vote on the ballot issue.

There are about 3,800 Ameren customers that live in unincorporated areas of Adams County.

Adams County Clerk Georgia Volm said her office could prepare ballots for voters in certain areas or taxing bodies, but she wouldn't be able to break it down to specific individuals such as Ameren customers.

There are electric customers in the unincorporated areas of Adams county that are served by the Adams Electric Cooperative based in Camp Point. That electric supplier is owned by co-op members and isn't part of the state wide aggregation plan.