Contact: Jeff Haarmann, Managing Partner, AGE
Phone: (618) 204-0115
For Immediate Release
Southern Illinois Chambers of Commerce
Seeking Protection Against Electricity Plant Closures
<Mt. Vernon, IL > Seeking protection against seemingly inevitable future electricity price increases, Southern Illinois Chambers of Commerce are taking a proactive approach to help secure long-term rates for their members.
Just a few short months ago, announcements of coal-fired electric generation plant closures in Newton and two in Baldwin, IL were announced. Following that announcement came the news that a nuclear power plant in Clinton, IL would also be closing. All closures came with formal dates for the closures after Illinois legislators failed to bring up proposed legislation seeking a legislative response or “subsidy” to keep these plants operating at profit levels viable to the companies who own them.
“Given the two scenarios, it appears an increase in electric supply rates is inevitable. If somehow there is a legislative response, that will undoubtedly come in the form of some type of subsidy imposed on the residents and commercial users of electricity. Absent a legislative response, four plant closures in a year is all but certainly going to lead to less supply and subsequently an increase in electricity prices in the market” said Jeff Haarmann, Managing Partner of AGE, the coordinator of the Southern Illinois Chamber of Commerce Electricity Buying Group. “These short-term changes have nothing to do with the federally mandated EPA regulations for cleaner energy, which could have an even further devastating impact on prices.”
Chambers such as Benton/West City, Marion, Carbondale, Jefferson County, Herrin, Lawrence County and others throughout Southern Illinois are seeking rate protection by enrolling members in their collective buying group now, negotiating long-term rates now while the relative price of electricity is still low.
“We are advocates for our members. Having the ability to save our members potentially tens of thousands of dollars is just as important as driving additional revenue to our communities. The dollars we are able to save our members are dollars that go straight to their bottom line. Those dollars saved stay in our community and allow our members to re-invest in their businesses and people. The dollars continue to be spent several times over in our local economies. That benefits everyone.” said Karen Mullins, Executive Director of the Benton / West City Area Chamber of Commerce.
Negotiations are currently taking place for chamber members who are already participating in the Southern Illinois Chamber of Commerce Bulk Electricity Buying Group. Those negotiations are seeking to extend rates well into the future by securing rates now while markets are still favorable.
The Southern Illinois Chamber of Commerce Bulk Buying Group including the Benton / West City Area is holding an open enrollment period for members who are not currently enrolled in the Electricity Buying Group. Beginning July 25th, chamber members who have not made a choice of electricity supplier and are still on Ameren’s default rates, or chamber members who have a current supply contract that expires in the next twelve months, can contact their respective chamber for enrollment details. Upon closure of the enrollment period on August 12, the collective group of new enrollees will be competitively bid to multiple suppliers seeking to serve the collective commercial aggregate with long-term rate security.
The Benton / West City Area Chamber of Commerce will be holding an informational event with AGE at Jack Russell Fish Company on August 4 at 5pm. Businesses are encouraged to come and learn about the program and the potential value to their business.