What does municipal aggregation mean?
Aggregation in general refers to many customers joining together to form a buying group. Municipal aggregation refers specifically to the situation where a municipality organizes the pooling of its citizens to become the buying group. The municipality (or a group of municipalities) then seeks out offers on behalf of its constituents to get a better price, terms and services than would be available to an individual. In Illinois, municipal aggregation for energy is authorized by statute.
What does opt-out mean?
Opt-out means that a municipality includes all eligible residents and then after a price is known residents are offered the option to leave or “opt-out” of the program. The other option used for municipal aggregation is opt-in where the resident must request to be included but the negotiated amount of customer usage is less known.
What is the benefit of opt-out vs. opt-in?
If a municipality has to go out and recruit citizens to join the buying group (For example, getting them to opt-in to the program), then just like when a business tries to price a product with unknown demand the initial cost are higher given the unknown amount to be sold; the unknown amount of energy to be sold results in a higher price for opt-in versus opt-out. In addition, the costs for mailings and processing of enrollments may be prohibitively expensive in time and money. Where aggregation can be successful is when it is allowed to be done another way, using the opt-out approach. This allows the municipality to publicly declare its intention to become an aggregating entity for its citizens through a ballot or public referendum and all the citizens are then included in the buying group unless they respond to the mailings or otherwise tell the municipality they wish to opt-out of the program.
What Communities does Direct Energy currently provide Electricity service under an aggregation program?
- City of Crest Hill
- Village of Elburn
- Village of Fox River Grove
- Village of Glenwood
- City of Harvard
- Village of New Lenox
- Village of Sugar Grove
Who is Eligible for Aggregation Programs
- One must have a residence or business located in the participating municipality;
- Be eligible to receive electricity from the municipal utility;
- Be current on your electricity payments;
How Do I Enroll?
Customers do not have to do anything to enroll. All eligible customers will be automatically included in the program unless they choose to "opt-out." A letter will be sent with details of the price and terms prior to any enrollment. If you do not respond to the letter sent to you by Direct Energy, the utility will complete the enrollment process. However, if you do not want to enroll in the program, all customers have until a specific date, to opt-out.
Will I get two bills?
No, you will continue to get one bill from your utility; the only difference is that it will include Direct Energy's logo and pricing for the generation on the bill in addition to the utility charges to continue use of their wires. Customers will continue to send your monthly payment to their local electricity utility.
Are there any early cancellation penalties?
As an exclusive enrollment benefit, Direct Energy will not assess Aggregation customers early cancellation fees.
Will my billing structure or reliability be affected?
Your reliability and billing structure will remain the same! The local utility will continue to send your bill and you will continue to send one payment to the local utility for their charges and Direct Energy's charges. The local utility will also continue to respond to emergency service requests; exactly the same as before electricity supply choice programs became effective.
Is there a deadline to opt-out?
Customers must choose to opt-out by the date specified on their opt-out enrollment letter. The offer is good through the opt-out offer period. If a customer chooses to opt-out but later would like to receive the aggregation offer they must contact Direct Energy however availability of the offer is only guaranteed during opt-out periods.
What else can you tell me about Direct Energy?
Direct Energy is part of the Centrica group of companies and one of the largest providers of non-utility retail energy services in North America. Direct Energy supports approximately 6 million customer relationships across North America.
Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
If you have any additional questions about this offer or any of the other services that Direct Energy provides, please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-866-760-6040, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST, and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST (contact center hours subject to change without notice). To learn more about us, you may also visit our web site at www.directenergy.com.
Page last modified: October 14, 2011