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Village of Divernon

Electricity Aggregation Program

Plan of Operation and Governance


Table of Contents

I.  HISTORY AND PURPOSE OF MUNICIPAL AGGREGATION

II. DEFINITIONS

III. ROLE OF THE Village

IV. ROLE OF THE AGGREGATION CONSULTANT

V. BILLING

VI. RENEWABLE ENERGY

VII. DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBLE CUSTOMER POOL

VIII.  POWER SUPPLY SERVICE AGREEMENT

IX.  IMPLEMENTATION PROCEDURES

X.  ADDITIONAL SERVICE TERMS AND CONDITIONS

XI.  INFORMATION AND COMPLAINT NUMBERS

XII. AMENDMENT


I.  HISTORY AND PURPOSE OF MUNICIPAL AGGREGATION

Pursuant to Section 1-92 of the Illinois Power Agency Act, 20 ILCS 3855/1-92 (“Act”), the Village of Divernon is authorized to aggregate the electric loads of small commercial and residential customers located within its municipal boundaries (herein referred to as “municipal aggregation”).  As part of the municipal aggregation, the Village of Divernon may select a retail electric supplier and enter into a service agreement to facilitate the purchase of electricity and related services and equipment on behalf of its residents and small businesses.

The Village seeks to collectively aggregate the retail electric loads of eligible residents and small commercial retail accounts and to solicit bids for the purchase of that electricity.  The Village intends to solicit bids seeking various pricing options, contract terms, and options for increased volumes of renewable energy. Residential and small commercial retail customers often lack the resources to conduct due diligence and negotiate favorable terms with alternate retail electric suppliers on their own.  With its large quantity of eligible electric accounts, the Village has the potential to attract lower rates than the current default tariff service rate, while also acquiring a cleaner power supply.

In accordance with the Act, on August 19, 2012, the Village approved Ordinance No. 2012-002, authorizing the placement of a referendum on the November 6, 2012 ballot, seeking authority to create an opt-out municipal aggregation program for its residents and small business customers.  Voters approved the municipal aggregation referendum at the November 6, 2012 general election.

 Prior to the passage of the referendum, the Village conducted public outreach and education related to municipal aggregation. The Village retained the services of a Consultant to assist with implementing the program, bidding, and selecting the electricity supplier.  With the help of the Consultant and input from the public, the Village drafted this Plan of Operation and Governance containing the general provisions of the electric aggregation program.

 The Village will not buy or resell power.  Rather, the Village will competitively bid and negotiate a contract with a competent and licensed alternative retail electric supplier (ARES) to provide electric supply at contracted rates to residents and small businesses in the Village. The ARES shall provide accurate and understandable pricing and facilitate opt-out/in notifications.  The ARES will also perform ancillary services for the Village participants as described in this Plan.

Because the Village adopted an opt-out aggregation program, all eligible customers located within the Village will participate in the Program unless they affirmatively elect to opt out of the Program.  By identifying the procedures by which customers may opt-out/in of the Program, the Village ensures that participation is voluntary and individuals have the ability to decline to participate. 

As required by law, this Plan of Operation and Governance describes the Village plan for:

1)    Providing universal access to all applicable residential customers and equitable treatment of applicable residential customers;

2)    Providing demand management and energy efficiency services to each class of customers; and

3)    Meeting any other legal requirements concerning aggregated electric service.

The Village conducted a public outreach campaign to educate Village residents and small businesses about the Program, and to gather input regarding their preferences for the development of this Plan of Operation and Governance.  Outreach efforts included two Village Council Study Sessions, two statutorily-required public hearings, press releases, and discussions with organizations and residents with a background in energy matters, and establishment of a website (www.powervotecu.com).

The Village, the Consultant, and the selected ARES will follow the Plan of Operation and Governance set forth in this document.  Amendments to this Plan of Operation and Governance may be adopted in accordance with the Act at the option of the Village.

II. DEFINITIONS

Whenever used in this Plan of Operation and Governance, the following terms shall have the meanings defined below, except where the context indicates otherwise.

III. ROLE OF THE Village

IV. ROLE OF THE AGGREGATION CONSULTANT

  1. Code of Conduct.  The Consultant will comply with the code of conduct requirements of the Electric Service Customer Choice and Relief Act, 220 ILCS 5/16-115C.
  2. Duties. The Consultant shall advise and assist the Village with the development and implementation of its Aggregation Program, including developing all necessary documents, reviewing the eligible customer list, drafting electricity RFPs, soliciting and reviewing bids received, making recommendations as appropriate.
  3. Required Independence and Disclosures.  As required by the Electric Service Customer Choice and Relief Act, the Consultant will be in a fiduciary relationship with the Village and owes the Village and its Aggregation Members the duty of loyalty and independent judgment. The Consultant will be disqualified if it acts as the agent for any ICC certified ARES.  It is the duty of the Consultant to disclose any such relationships in writing to the Village Manager.  Breach of these terms will result in the Village terminating the Consultant Agreement.
  4. Fee.  The Consultant shall be paid directly by the Village.  Any fee paid to the Consultant shall be for work performed in developing and implementing the Village’s Aggregation Program.
  5. Confidentiality.  The Village, upon receiving confidential customer information from Ameren Illinois, shall be subject to the limitations on the disclosure of that information described in Section 2HH of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act, 815 ILCS 505/2HH.  If the Consultant has access to confidential customer account information at any time, the Consultant agrees not to use that information for any purposes outside the scope of the services provided by this Agreement.  The Consultant specifically agrees not to use for itself, or to sell, trade, disseminate or otherwise transfer that information to any other party for any purpose other than this Aggregation Program.  The Village will not be liable for any use of confidential information by the Consultant that violates the law or this agreement.

V. BILLING

Aggregation Members shall continue to receive one electric bill and make payments to Ameren.  The ARES shall be responsible for complying with the following bill format and collection procedures:

VI. RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The Aggregation Program shall promote sustainability by seeking an electric supply with renewable energy sources in excess of state minimum standards.  To achieve this goal, the Village shall require ARES proposers to submit price quotes for energy mixes with increasing percentages of renewable energy sources. Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) may be sourced from registered hydro, wind, solar, or captured methane-landfill gas.

    1. Lowest Price Mix.  The lowest priced electricity supply available from the ARES using, at a minimum, renewable energy consistent with the Renewable Portfolio Standard required by law.  Between comparable offers, the Village will give preference to any bidder that provides all its power from sources other than coal.
    2. Enhanced Renewable Energy Mix.  Electricity supply where non-renewable sourced supply is offset by Renewable Energy Credits.
    3. 25% Renewable – REC Supported Mix.  Electricity where any non-renewable sources are offset at least 25% but less than 50% by RECs.
    4. 50% Renewable – REC Supported Mix.  Electricity where any non-renewable sources are offset at least 50% but less than 75% by RECs.
    5. 75% Renewable – REC Supported Mix. Electricity where any non-renewable sources are offset at least 75% but less than 100% by RECs.
    6. 100% Renewable - REC Supported Mix.  Electricity where any non-renewable sources are offset 100% by RECs.

VII. DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBLE CUSTOMER POOL

Ineligible customers will not be notified during the Opt-Out Period and shall not be required to opt-out.

VIII.  POWER SUPPLY SERVICE AGREEMENT

The Village, at its option, will execute a Power Supply Service Agreement with the selected ARES, in accordance with the following:

  1. Term.  The Village’s first Power Supply Service Agreement (“Agreement”) shall be for a minimum of a one-year period. If the agreement is longer than one year, the ARES must agree to comply with the rate provisions in subsection B.  If the first Power Supply Agreement is extended or renewed, the Consultant will notify the Village of changes in the rules of the ICC and IPA that require changes in rates or service conditions.  The Village will have the discretion to set the length of any subsequent contract term. In the event the Village extends or renews the Power Supply Agreement, the ARES shall conduct a new opt-out process wherein Members must be notified of any modifications to the rate, fees or other charges associated with the Program.
  2. Rate.  The Agreement shall specify the approved rates and the power mix for the Program and any other charges or fees. The Village shall only approve a Power Supply Agreement if the Supplier’s rate is less than the Ameren Default Rate. If the Ameren Default Rate is subsequently set below the rate established in the Agreement, the Supplier at its option may establish a rate equal to Ameren or terminate the Agreement and return affected customers to Ameren.
  3. Supply of Power.  The Supplier shall supply electricity for the Program that includes:  (1) the minimum renewable energy resources required by the State of Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard; and (2) electricity that exceeds the current renewable energy resource requirements of the Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard by securing RECs sourced through PJM-registered hydroelectric, wind, solar, photovoltaic, or captured methane-landfill gas. 
  1. Costs.  All costs of the aggregation program development and administration will be paid by the ARES through a lump sum payment as specified in the RFP and Power Supply Agreement.
  2. Termination of Service. 

Upon termination for any reason, the Village will notify Ameren to return the Aggregation Members to the Ameren Default Tariff Service.  Upon termination, each individual Member will receive written notification from the Village of the termination of the Program.

IX.  IMPLEMENTATION PROCEDURES

The Retail Customer Identification Information will remain the property of the Village, and the ARES will comply with the confidentiality and non-compete provisions in the Service Agreement.

The ARES will establish procedures and protocols to work with Ameren on an ongoing basis to add, delete, or change any member participation or rate information.

X.  ADDITIONAL SERVICE TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. Member Education.  The Village may direct the ARES to assist in developing a Member Education Plan.  
  2. Reporting.  The ARES will provide to the Village and to the Consultant the following reports:
  1. Limitation of Liability.  The Village shall not be liable to Aggregation Members for any claims, however styled, arising out of the Aggregation Program or out of any Village act or omission in facilitating the Aggregation Program.

XI.  INFORMATION AND COMPLAINT NUMBERS

This Plan can be reviewed on the Village’s website www.divernonil.com.  Copies of this Plan are available from the Village free of charge; please contact the Village of Divernon Public Works Department.  For more information, please call the Divernon Village Hall at 217-628-3416.  Any electric customer, including any participant in the Village’s Aggregation Program, may contact the Illinois Commerce Commission for information, or to make a complaint against the Program, the ARES or Ameren.  The ICC may be reached toll free at 217-782-5793.

XII. AMENDMENT

This Plan may be amended from time to time by the Village Manager of the Village upon recommendation by the Director of Public Works. Such amendment shall be sent to the Village Council within 7 days after the approval by the Village Manager. Such amendment shall be provided to the ARES Supplier and Consultant prior to its effective date.

Attachment B:  Newspaper notices of Plan review hearings