On April 29, City Council voted unanimously to provide its residents and small businesses with 100% renewable energy generated in Illinois and neighboring states. The City will sign a three-year contract with a new supplier, Homefield Energy, that locks in low rates for residents and will improve air quality by supporting pollution-free clean energy.
In the March 20, 2012 primary election, residents approved the aggregation program, under which the City would contract with an alternate retail electricity supplier (ARES) to purchase electricity in bulk from a supplier with the most competitive and responsive price. A few weeks later, City Council voted to purchase “green” energy – that is, energy certified as produced from sustainable sources (renewable energy credits, or RECs). The initial supplier was Constellation New Energy. Homefield Energy will be the supplier for the next three years.
Catherine Hurley, sustainability coordinator for the City of Evanston, said she was excited that the City was able to lock in a three-year deal for clean, local energy at a low price.
Evanston negotiated a price of 7.404 cents per kilowatt-hour for their clean energy supply, lower than prices negotiated by neighboring communities such as Oak Park’s 7.47 cents. The City also requested that the RECs have a “vintage” of only one year – that is, that the electricity will have been generated in Illinois or a neighboring state in the past year.
“We all win when Illinois moves to clean energy, and Evanston is leading the way to a better future,” said Evanston resident Jack Darin, director of the Illinois Sierra Club.
The April 29 vote followed a decision earlier this year to purchase 100% renewable energy for City-owned buildings. Although contracted through a different supplier, MC Squared, the energy in these buildings will similarly have 100% green energy though purchasing Renewable Energy Credits from Illinois and neighboring states.