The power of collective energy purchasing


OAK PARK, IL — “Early aggregations in Illinois were able to take advantage of a unique situation to obtain much lower energy prices, but that situation has changed. They’ll need strategies beyond price to keep aggregation a ‘value add’ for their residents.

Cities can take up and invest in energy efficiency.  They can solicit bids for electricity contracts that include real-time pricing or demand response. And they should always ask for a price for local renewable energy, says [Oak Park Sustainability Manager K.C. Doyle].

‘Every single community should ask the question…you are showing the suppliers that you have a very, very interested community in supporting the local renewable energy industry,’ says Doyle.  ‘It’s powerful information for decision makers, legislators, Illinois Power Agency…four hundred communities aggregating and asking for local wind power and solar power — that’s really powerful.’

Ultimately, communities should build on the success of collective action.

‘We do this really great thing together, we banded together, we went out for a cheaper price and we saved a ton of money.  $5 million in two years…there’s a lot of [community] pride around that,’ says Doyle.”

— John Farrell, Renewable Energy World

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