Illinois local issues on March ballot dominated by electricity questions
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois: On March 20, 2012 Illinois will have its primary election and a majority of the local issues to be decided on by voters deal with aggregating electricity. Around 50 separate communities have this question on their ballot, allowing the communities to buy into electricity buying cooperatives. The goal of buying electricity as a community would allow for lower rates for residents. Several communities in the state have already passed measures which allow for this cooperative buying power and proponents note that residents could end up saving up to $150 a year on their electricity bills. These measures have come about because of the deregulation of Illinois electricity. Even if these questions are approved in communities, there are still further steps which need to be taken for aggregation to occur. The communities would have to seek out bids from electricity providers and allow for resident input before approving a proposed bid. Some residents have voiced concerns over the project, if rates really would be reduced. Residents would still have the ability to opt out of the community programs if they did not want to participate.