The electric rate-setting deal being finalized between state lawmakers and electric companies Ameren and ComEd reminds me that the City of DeKalb pays ComEd nothing for electricity in the buildings it owns.

The city apparently does pay for street lighting. The link takes you to the record of a city meeting where cutting electric costs at intersections was discussed. But I ask you: What is the incentive to conserve electricity at City Hall? If there are freebies and waste, don’t the rest of us end up paying higher rates? The city gives us residential users a conservation incentive through taxing us for our electricity consumption. My share this month was $5.88.

Another advantage the city has is the ability to chose among electricity suppliers (ComEd remains the delivery company).

Illinois law now gives residential customers a choice of suppliers, too, but it is mostly an illusion except for the glimmer of hope that is BlueStar Energy. Although I note that their “How to Switch” page says, “A BlueStar Energy representative will contact you when we have a residential product offering.” [Emphasis mine.]