July 9, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Announces City Aggregation Doubles the Amount of Wind Energy to Customers, Removing the Equivalent of 100,000 Cars From Streets

Through Municipal Aggregation Agreement, Chicago’s More Than Two Million Customers Will Reduce the City’s Carbon Footprint by 16%

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that his administration negotiated a deal with energy suppliers to secure 5% of the electricity provided through its municipal aggregation program from Illinois wind farms. This deal doubles the amount of wind energy Chicago consumers received through ComEd. According to a study released by the Perfect Power Institute at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the City’s aggregation agreement with Integrys Energy Services has achieved a significant reduction in emissions that contribute to global warming, including a 16 percent reduction in carbon emissions representing the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off of the road, and a 98% reduction in ozone depleting and acid rain causing nitrogen oxide emissions.  The Perfect Power Institute study can be reviewed HERE

“Through the success of the municipal aggregation program, the City of Chicago has decreased its carbon footprint while delivering savings to residents and small businesses,” said Mayor Emanuel. “By supporting Illinois wind farms and eliminating coal from the city’s portfolio, Chicagoans will build a cleaner, healthier environment for our children.”  

In addition to the municipal aggregation agreement’s impact on carbon emissions, the study also found a number of public health and environmental benefits.  The agreement completely eliminates sulfur dioxide, which has been associated with respiratory illnesses and increases in hospitalizations, from the City’s supply portfolio.  Additionally, the agreement has reduced the amount of water consumed by Chicago’s generation resources by 15%.  And by removing coal sources from the City’s portfolio, the aggregation agreement has nearly eliminated the amount of solid waste products attributable to the electricity consumed by Chicago customers. 

"Chicago is proving that moving beyond coal to cleaner sources of electricity, including Illinois wind power, cannot only reduce our electric bills but also deliver much healthier air for all of us to breathe.   Chicago's new, cleaner power supply will reduce asthma attacks and other health problems, help fight climate change, and lower residents' electric bills,” said Jack Darin, Director of the Sierra Club Illinois Chapter. “We applaud Mayor Emanuel for his leadership in moving Chicago beyond coal to clean energy and encourage other communities to use their aggregated buying power to support clean energy and a better environment."

Since February of 2013, more than 750,000 households and small businesses have saved nearly $21 million by adopting the municipal aggregation agreement. The Chicago municipal aggregation program is the largest of its kind in the country. Using its bulk buying power, the City secured a cleaner power mix.

After a referendum vote on November 6, 2012 in which a majority of Chicago voters authorized the City to explore municipal aggregation, Mayor Emanuel announced in December 2012 that the City selected Integrys Energy Services after undergoing a thorough review of its financial strength, customer service ratings and the ability to deliver cleaner energy. The transition to Integrys was seamless with ComEd continuing to be responsible for delivering electricity, responding to outages, and reading meters. To ensure continued customer convenience, Chicago customers continued to receive their bills from ComEd and kept the same billing and automatic payment options. The City selected Integrys on the basis of lowest price margin from among eight interested companies to serve as Chicago’s electricity supplier following an open and competitive two-stage bidding process.

For more information on the wind power purchases and the City’s municipal aggregation agreement, visit www.cityofchicago.org/electricityaggregation.