WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- Millions of dollars in savings and cheaper electric bills for all who live in Winnebago County.
That's the goal for a plan that would allow local governments to shop for the lowest rate for electricity which could save individual households hundreds of dollars a year.
Loves Park Mayor Darryl Lindberg says, "We have seen anywhere from 10 to 30 percent savings in their electrical costs each month, so it's really a no brainer as far as a good thing to do."
But before these negotiations occur, Winnebago County, plus each city and village must vote to approve the new program. Once voters have decided, all approving communities will get together, forming one search for the cheapest electricity rates
"From what we've seen so far, it looks like a very good option. It could save us significant dollars and let’s face it...in the energy business, it's all about volume. The more volume you have the cheaper price you can negotiate", says Winnebago County Chairman Scott Christiansen.
An average of more than $14 million could be saved county-wide under the new program; half of that amount would come from Rockford alone. The community leaders we spoke to say they feel there are not many negatives to the proposal and that everyone wins in this money saving venture
“You always look for the loopholes to see what the hidden detractors would be, besides that, we're just very excited for the program because it seems as if it's too good to be true”, says Machesney Park Administrator Tim Savage.
An opt-out clause for residents not wanting to be a part of the program would be available. Businesses and residential properties which have pre-existing contracts with electric companies would also be excluded.