Next month, voters in the town of Normal will decide a referendum that would allow the Town of Normal to act for all town residents to find the best electricity rate. The referendum failed before, but is being brought back for another try. Phillip Carr, the Business Development Director for the town's consultant Good Energy says this is not an intrusion of big government into individual choice.
Carr says large businesses have been benefiting from such negotiations for years. He says the average homeowner in Champaign, which approved the measure is now saving more than $200 per year.
Carr says homeowners can negotiate on their own behalf in the current marketplace, but it takes time and energy and they do not have them same buying power as the 200,000 households Good Energy represents. Good Energy Also says homeowners would be guaranteed a rate as low as Ameren's current rate for electricity. Carr says the issue passed in 85% of central Illinois communities the first time. In Normal, he says low turnout in a primary and opposition from Republican Party leaders who might not have had all relevant information available squelched the proposal. Carr points out the law creating municipal choice received nearly unanimous bipartisan support.
Hear Charlie Schlenker's entire interview with Good Energy
The League of Women Voters has a program on the ballot initiative at the Normal Public Library Monday evening at 6:30p
Support Your Public Radio Station