It appears that my electricity generator has changed from Ameren to Ameren, and now I’m saving money. Somehow.
As you may know, getting electricity to your home involves two companies (theoretically, at least): the company that generates (or supplies) electricity and the company that delivers electricity. In Peoria, Ameren Illinois delivers your electricity, and their rates are regulated by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Ameren Illinois also supplies electricity, and up until recently has been the default supplier in Peoria, but you can choose a different supplier if you wish. [I was mistaken. Ameren Illinois does not supply electricity — they procure electricity under regulations established by the Illinois Power Agency (IPA). Residents can, however, choose a different supplier.]
In the last election, citizens of Peoria and many other communities passed referenda allowing municipalities to negotiate better electricity rates for their residents with electricity suppliers. Peoria got a great deal with a company called Homefield Energy, which is the City’s new default energy supplier. Here’s part of the City’s press release from earlier this month:
Homefield Energy (www.homefieldenergy.com) was selected as the winning supplier. Homefield offered the lowest price with a two-year contract price of $0.0408 per kilowatt hour (kWh). This price is more than two cents lower than the current Ameren tariff rate of $0.0620 per kWh. The price is also based on the electricity being sourced from 100% renewable electric production.
And just who is Homefield Energy? On the legal page of their website we find out that Homefield Energy is really “Ameren Energy Marketing Company d/b/a Homefield Energy….” Ameren Illinois and Ameren Energy Marketing Company are all part of Ameren Corporation.
So we’ve switched from Ameren [undisclosed suppliers with rates established according to IPA regulations] to Ameren [rates established through competitive bidding directly with municipalities] and saved two cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) — and provided the City of Peoria with a “modest income source” of $0.001/kWh.
Apparently there are savings in Ameren’s left pocket that we’ve been missing out on because we’ve been getting our energy from their right pocket all these years. I wonder if there are more savings to be had in their other pockets that we don’t yet know about. [This makes a lot more sense now; my thanks to the City of Peoria and “Cassie” from Ameren for helping to explain it.]