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Green Energy


CARBONDALE — The Carbondale City Council went with the 100-percent renewable energy plan Wednesday in an electrical aggregation contract vote.

The green energy option was about 2 percent more expensive than the baseline quote from Homefield Energy, but aggregation between the city and several other regional communities still offers Ameren customers in the city 22-percent savings on usage costs.

The total renewable energy plan was one of six options presented to the city council, which unanimously approved the deal.

“I don’t see a moral or financial reason to go other than the 100-percent option,” said Councilman Chris Wissmann before the vote.

The residential and small commercial rates for the city’s Ameren customers who do not opt out of aggregation will be $0.044 per kilowatt hour. Ameren’s rate is more than a nickel per kilowatt hour.

The contract is for two years and the consortium of communities is expected to save about $275,000 per month.

The rate would have been $0.43 per kilowatt hour had the council elected to go with Homefield’s base program, which had 9 percent renewable energy.

Councilwoman Jane Adams said she was “rather stunned” the green option was so close to the base price.

Councilman Lance Jack said, “Given the price difference here it clearly makes no sense to go with anything other than renewable.”

Jack also asked Mayor Joel Fritzler and City Manager Kevin Baity to contact leaders of other community partners in the aggregation to press for them to go green.

Councilman Don Monty reminded customers to “look at the bottom line” on bills because the discount applies only to usage costs, not fees and taxes.

The contract between the city and Homefield must be signed by end of business Friday.

The other communities set to approve aggregation opt-out contracts are: Chester, Coulterville, Elkville, Marion, Sparta, Steeleville, Tamaroa and West Frankfort and unincorporated Perry County.

On Twitter: @DW_Norris_SI

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