Those Who Voted “No” on Electric Aggregation Tell Why

Com Ed will continue to maintain power lines even in municipalities that buy electricity for their homes and businesses.

In my election night (actually 3AM) article on the electric aggregation referendums in McHenry County, I asked those opposed to tell why. And I asked where they lived.

Here are the comments that were received thus far:

Sue Gwinnup said 03/21/2012 at 6:38 am:

Rural McHenry County – I do not want a program where I have to opt out, I’d rather a program where I can opt in. I want less government in my life not more.

So your comment about the distrust of government is true.

Not so much my county govt. but overall – state and national.

Jim said 03/21/2012 at 8:09 am:

LITH – The government does not do anything without sticking their hands out for a cut…so your hypothesis that trust in government is low is correct.

Cindy said 03/21/2012 at 8:36 am:

Anytime you let the government have MORE control of anything you have chaos.

Just look what happened when Crystal Lake was allowed to do this with trash collection!

I am still steamed about that! I am just appalled that ANYONE could vote yes on giving the government ANY kind of a hand in this!

Paul Culpeper said 03/21/2012 at 8:46 am:

I live in unincorporated McHenry County and voted no.

Like many other citizens of this country, I have become painfully aware that whenever government at any level gets involved in any economic activity it becomes more expensive and less efficient.

Sure, it might be cheaper at first, but as the beauracratic administrative state grows over time it eventually costs us all more in taxes.

For every hard working public employee, you’ve got three more bending paper clips and looking out the window.

It’s time to get the entitlement dependent culture and the public agency spending under control. Or we’re doomed as a society.

Another Jim said 03/21/2012 at 9:14 am:

Cal, you asked why someone would vote against this and here is my answer… I voted no because the government has no right to choose energy providers for private citizens.

While I support the Village of Cary to choose whatever provider they want for thier own energy needs, hands off my electricity.

Opt-out is not a choice.

Individual choice will be removed from the citizens.

I looked at the choices that other area communities have made and found that most DO NOT choose the lowest price provider.

My neighbor community Fox River Grove chose the highest price alternate provider, only slightly below Com Ed.

It makes me wonder what kind of kick-backs, graft and corruption have entered into the energy provider selection process.

And the glossy brochure that was mailed by the Village makes it clear there is financial incentive for someone to have all citizens be SLAMMED into an alternate energy provider.

Why the results in my community were not as I had hoped, I am glad other communities chose more wisely on these referenda.

Cal Skinner said 03/21/2012 at 9:47 am:

Illinois state government has forced all of us to use Com Ed until quite recently.

Cindy sayid 03/21/2012 at 2:41 pm:

Cal? How is that a reason to accept local government controlling your choices?

Because it was once a monopoly?

Not good reasoning, there, Cal.

Do you believe that your local government entities are the ones that broke the monopoly for you?

Going willingly down a rat hole never is a good choice!

Amy said 03/21/2012 at 7:02 pm:

LITH – I am glad this was rejected.

I remember in the early 2000′s when Peoples Energy was pushing a similar deal with getting a “better rate” on gas than Nicor, and I was skeptical when I was reading their brochures.

Then they got sued and had to pay out $100 million to customers for overcharging them for several years. That case is explained here:

Checking CUB’s website, it raises some great questions that I haven’t been able to find answers for (in LITH’s press releases or on the Village’s website) as to how much $$ will they be paying a consultant to “negotiate” better rates, and there is no assurance that it will, in fact, lower rates.

I would rather make these decisions myself, as an educated consumer, than leave it to my well-meaning local government to determine that.

Joe said 03/21/2012 at 9:49 pm (Edit):

There are a number of reasons why folks should have voted NO on this.

First, history proves the cities that have aggregated are not saving much, and some are paying MORE. People should have their own choice to buy their products and services.

They sold this really well comparing it to “buying bulk at Costco” and the like, but if that’s true, then why have the cities that are already doing this providing average-awful rates to its residents?

FACT: my brother lives in Batavia and they have their residents locked into an awful rate, over 8 cents/kwh to be specific.

I called the City to ask if its possible to switch and they said no.

Now that there’s healthy competition in the free market, consumers can go to alternative suppliers such as North American Power, Ambit, IGS, etc and get a rate of just 5.99 on their own, and they didn’t need a government mandate or a bulk purchase to make that happen.

Free markets make that low rate happen.

The most recent suburb that I know of to aggregate their electricity to try and get their residents a better deal was Oak Park.

With their collective buying power, they secured a decent rate… I think it was around 5.89 or something, but that’s still very close to the 5.99 you can get today on your own from most of the alternate suppliers.

So if you ask me, passing this just makes Government bigger, reduces our personal freedom of choices, and now the monopoly that was once controlled by the utility is owned by the Government.

After the article went up, I got an email from Chicago Tribune reporter Robert McCoppin. He wondered if I could put him in touch with any of the commenters. If you would like to tell him why you voted against your referendum, he invites you to give him a call at 847-755-8927.

McCoppin is the one, by the way, who wrote the comprehensive article about McHenry County Deputy Sheriff Zane Seipler’s return to work.

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