January 30, 2014

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Integrys Energy Services Announce the Launch of the Small Business Energy Advantage Program

New Program Offers 40,000 Additional Small Businesses the Opportunity to Save 12 Percent on Electricity Bills

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Integrys Energy Services today launched the Small Business Energy Advantage Program, an initiative that will provide more small businesses with an opportunity to join the City’s popular municipal electricity aggregation program and save on their electricity bills. This program will provide an estimated 40,000 additional small businesses with the opportunity to opt into the City’s program and save up to 12 percent off of the ComEd rate from February to June and an estimated 5% for the remaining 12 months of the City’s agreement with Integrys, based on historical rates. The City estimates that this would result in savings between February and June ranging from $100 for the smallest users to $2,500 for larger users such as a leased office suite in a commercial building.

“We are using the bulk buying power of more than 2.5 million Chicago residents to help small businesses save money on their electricity bills,” said Mayor Emanuel, “This initiative is another example of my commitment to make City Hall a partner to small business owners across the City.”

In addition to delivering savings to Chicago small businesses, the launch of the Small Business Energy Advantage Program will afford users the same consumer protection and environmental benefits negotiated under the City’s aggregation program, including no hidden fees or exit fees, and no coal in the supply mix.

The Small Business Energy Advantage Program is designed to offer a savings opportunity to small businesses that were initially too large to qualify for the City’s aggregation agreement under state law because they use more than 15,000 kWh annually but are included in ComEd’s “0-100 KW” and “Watt-Hour” delivery classes. Examples of these types of businesses include small to mid-sized churches, coffee shops, small storefront restaurants, small storefront retail spaces for service businesses and individually metered tenant office spaces in commercial buildings.

“Integrys Energy Services is pleased to be able to work with Chicago to extend many of the benefits of the city’s innovative municipal aggregation program to the small business community.” said Ron Cardwell, Vice President with Integrys.

“We as a City negotiated an agreement that is providing Chicago's small businesses an opportunity to save money on their electricity bills,” said Alderman Edward M. Burke, chairman of the City Council Committee on Finance. “In this difficult economic climate, it is crucial that we continue to do everything possible to achieve savings for our residents and business owners.”

The Small Business Energy Advantage Program is the first program of its kind in the nation and was included in the aggregation agreement that the City finalized with Integrys in December 2012. The new savings opportunity will be promoted jointly by Integrys and by the City’s Small Business Center, housed in the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

Since February of 2013, more than 720,000 households and small businesses have saved nearly $27 million by adopting the municipal aggregation agreement. Through this use of bulk buying power, the City secured a coal-free power mix with 5% of the electricity provided through the municipal aggregation program originating from Illinois wind farms.

A majority of Chicago voters authorized the City in a referendum vote on November 6, 2012 to explore the electricity bill savings offered by municipal aggregation, Mayor Emanuel announced in December 2012 that the City selected Integrys Energy Services after conducting an open and competitive bid process. The transition to Integrys was seamless, with ComEd continuing to be responsible for delivering electricity, responding to outages, and reading meters. 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 and to possible signup, please go to www.integrysenergy.com/EnergyAdvantage or call 855-310-5440.