Green Electricity Aggregation
Park Forest is going green!
We are covering all of the Village’s residential and small commercial electricity usage with 100% Midwest wind power! This change will come with no increase in fees or taxes and no change in service - just easy access to carbon-free electricity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are we doing this?
Park Forest has enacted an ordinance requiring us to reduce our carbon emissions by 26% by 2025, in line with the Paris Agreement. This program allows us to equitably, quickly, and cost-effectively reduce our residential and small commercial electrical use, which is extremely hard to otherwise address and contributes a large part of our emissions.
So how does it work?
Park Forest will be contracting with a new company, MC Squared (or MC2), who will purchase wind energy renewable energy credits (RECs) to cover our residential and small commercial electricity use for the next 3 years (2020-2023).
The money from the RECs comes from switching some of our accounts to MC2 for their electricity supply. The few cents per month they can save by buying cheaper renewable energy wouldn’t mean anything to an individual home, but over the whole village it adds up to enough to purchase RECs for the remaining homes and businesses who weren’t switched. After the 3 year term expires, we will re-evaluate the contract based on the characteristics of the energy market.
What does this get us?
We will be receiving 100% wind power for ALL residents and small businesses - not just ones that switch to MC2. This comes with a dramatic reduction in emissions, which results in public health, environmental, and climate benefits to Park Forest over the short and long term. MC2 is also giving the village a civic grant of $50,000 per year for use on sustainability and energy projects. We are looking into using the grant to build a solar array at the water plant, further transitioning the village to renewable energy!
Am I leaving ComEd?
Nope! ComEd doesn’t actually produce power anymore - they just distribute it. That means that if you’re just on regular ComEd power (not an alternative supplier), they’re going out and buying electricity for you from nuclear plants, coal plants, and renewable energy farms. Our aggregation program basically lets us specify where the money we pay for our electricity goes to - only renewable generators. ComEd will still distribute electricity, send you your bill, come fix outages, and do everything you’re used to.
Will my electricity supply change with the wind?
Nope! Everyone in the village will still be receiving the same service from ComEd. Because of how the grid works (explained in the last question), we will receive stable power no matter what the weather is.
Will I save money on this?
Unfortunately not, but you won’t pay any more money for it. You will be charged exactly the same as anyone else in ComEd’s service area. MC2 is legally bound to charge us the exact same rate for electricity (the tariff rate) as ComEd charges anyone else in Illinois. ComEd will still charge their transmission and distribution fees. If ComEd raises the tariff rate, your bill could go up, but you will never be charged more for this program.
The village did a similar kind of electrical aggregation agreement in 2012-2014 that saved residents a lot of money, but the electricity market isn’t in a place right now where that works.
If you went to the market yourself and tried to buy renewable energy, you could end up paying 4-6 cents per kilowatt hour more than the ComEd rate. By the village going to the market all together, you kind of are saving money!
Doesn’t ComEd give us renewable energy already?
They do - but only a tiny bit. ComEd is legally required to buy 16% of your energy from renewable sources, which already isn’t great, but they actually only end up getting you about 8%. Green energy aggregation is one way we can push for the development of more renewable energy and make the grid greener for everyone.
How does ComEd have two types of energy?
They don’t. Once electricity is generated and flows into the transmission grid, there’s no way to tell whether it came from a wind farm, a solar panel, or a coal plant. We can say we’re using 100% wind power because we’re purchasing RECs, which are basically tokens that say we own the power generated at a specific time and place by a renewable energy generator. This video explains RECs way better than I can!
What do I need to do to join the program?
If you’d like to opt out and not receive renewable energy, please complete the process described in the letter within three weeks of receiving it.
What’s next for energy in Park Forest?
We’re looking to invest in some local renewable energy generation in the form of solar panels! If you’re interested in solar in Park Forest, check out our solar resources page.