Newcomers can sign up for lower electric rate

Newcomers can sign up for lower electric rate

URBANA — Officials are reminding students who are returning to school but just now moving in to a new house or apartment that they might want to sign up for the cities' municipal electric aggregation programs.

Any student who is returning to the same residence from last year will not have to do anything. If they did not move this summer, they were automatically included in the program that provides a lower electricity rate for the vast majority of residents.

University of Illinois students are the most likely to be affected, but the announcement goes for anyone who moved into Urbana this month.

Officials in Champaign say their program allows them to automatically enroll new residents and they will send “opt-out” letters within the next few weeks, much like the way residents were signed up the first time.

To avoid paying the higher Ameren Illinois default rate, residents who moved into a new place in Urbana this month will have to sign up with Homefield Energy by emailing or calling 866-694-1262. Homefield Energy will need the resident's name, address, apartment number and 10-digit Ameren account number.

Urbana officials will be making efforts to alert new students this month by contacting landlords and mailing "opt-in" postcards, according to a press release.

The current default rate that Ameren Illinois customers pay is 6.16 cents per kilowatt hour, and that number will drop to 5.45 cents in October.

But in Urbana, residents would pay 4.05 cents for at least the next two years if they switch to the municipal electric aggregation program.

Champaign residents are paying 4.15 cents on the aggregation program.