PAXTON — Most residents opted to switch electricity suppliers after all.
Two months after Paxton voters approved a ballot question in the Nov. 6 general election — by an 869-744 margin — to allow the city to move forward with its electric aggregation program, 1,740 eligible Ameren Illinois customers were sent letters from Integrys Energy Services informing them of their right to opt out of the program.
But only 117 opted out, according to Adler Pharel, Illinois aggregation program manager for Integrys, a Chicago-based alternative retail electricity supplier.
The rest — 1,623 — decided to participate.
The majority — 1,492 — are residential accounts, Pharel said. The rest — 131 — are small businesses.
Residences and small businesses in Paxton that use less than 15,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and are currently served by Ameren Illinois are being automatically enrolled in the electric aggregation program unless they notified Integrys that they wished to opt out.
Mailings were sent to eligible accounts in late December informing them of their right to opt out and how to arrange doing so, Pharel said. There was a 14-day window in which they had the chance to opt out.
The percentage of people who opted out — 6.72 percent — "fits right in the area of our expectations," Pharel said, noting the number is "pretty average" for a community participating in electric aggregation.