In an effort to save on energy costs, the Villa Grove school board has approved an agreement with First Energy to provide the district with electricity for the next two years.
The school district now gets electricity from the Illinois Energy Consortium and pays nearly as much as it would through the traditional utility company.
First Energy representative Matt McCoy gave the board a bid of $4.86 per kilowatt hour, for a 24 month contract. Even with a counter-offer by IEC with a lowered kilowatt per hour price, the district should save $3,325 a year by switching to First Energy.
Last year, the district paid $52,000 to IEC. First Energy proposing $43,249 for 12 months.
The board opted for a 24-month contract with First Energy, which has a higher rate, but is guaranteed for 2 years. The final amount will be based on usage, but the district will pay only for what it uses.
Board Member Bill Bozdech recommended that the board go with the longer contract to lock in a good price. "I don't see energy rates going down," he said.
McCoy told the board that First Energy is able to provide electricity at lower rates, because the company based out of Akron, Ohio generates its own energy. The company owns a mixture of power generating plants and can provide energy from a variety of sources.
Superintendent Steve Poznic said he had checked the company's references with other districts and they were all pleased with the services and prices provided by First Energy. The contract with First Energy will start in October and the transition should be seamless for the school district.
In other business, the newly formed Villa Grove Education Foundation held its first meeting last month and Phillip Jones has been elected as the first Chairperson of the organization.