Forest Parkers voted Tuesday 69 percent to 31 percent to give the village authority to buy electricity in bulk on their behalf and theoretically reduce residential electric bills by $138 a year per household according to the village. The total vote count on the referendum question was 1,973.
Forest Park, along with several other local municipalities, voted to buy electricity at substantially less expensive “aggregated” rates. The village and other large power buyers have been enjoying these rates for several years, paying as little as 5.43 cents per kilowatt hour while individual homes pay 7.73 cents per kwh. With new Illinois legislation, municipal bodies are able to negotiate new contracts on behalf of smaller customers that qualify for these lower rates.
Officials estimate that, based on past usage rates over 12 months in Forest Park, a total of $1.2 million may be saved by local residents.
Nineteen local municipalities passed a referendum in 2011 and are now paying rates below the standard ComEd rate.