Mt. Morris trustees sign three-year electricity contract

Ice and frost hang from the arm of one of the street signs in Mt. Morris on Tuesday. A wintry mix has fallen across the region the last several days including snow, sleet, freezing rain, and fog.

MT. MORRIS — Mt. Morris trustees have voted to lock in an electricity rate for the wastewater treatment plant six months prior to the end of the village’s current contract.

“We could work on this actually in April, but I’m just concerned about energy and the energy crisis and the rates and that,” said Mike Mudge, co-owner of Rock River Energy Services who made a presentation to the board Nov. 23. “We’ve got a pretty decent rate right now from our bids from eight different suppliers.”

Trustees voted unanimously to contract with Constellation at a rate of 5.216 cents per kilowatt-hour for three years starting in May 2022. The contract covers the electrical usage at Mt. Morris’ wastewater treatment plant, wells and lift stations.

The estimated annual fixed energy cost is $56,678.05 — that’s based on an estimated usage of 1,086,619 kWh per year over the next three years. It’s an increase of $5,183.18 over the current contract, which also is with Constellation.

“The last time we locked in at 4.739 cents [per kWh],” Mudge told trustees. “That’s a nice rate. I think that’s about as low as we’ve gotten it ever.”

Dynegy Energy was the next lowest bid at 5.229 cents per kWh for a three-year contract.

Water and Sewer Trustee Jeff Pennington said he doesn’t see energy costs going down anytime soon.

“I would actually recommend taking that increase on and signing another three-year contract with Constellation,” Pennington said. “Like he [Mudge] is talking about, with the new plants and the uncertainty of where that’s going in the future, I think that we’re going to see the costs of electricity and gas go up. I don’t see it ever going down.

“When you’re talking about this kind of volume, this much electricity, I think $5,000 over the course of a year annually, I don’t see that being an issue,” he added.

Trustees also considered signing a contract for electricity for the village’s street lights, but decided to hold off until spring to sign a new contract, per Mudge’s recommendation.

There were four bids for the street lights, the lowest two of which were submitted by ComEd and Constellation.

Constellation’s rate would save the village only about $150 per year when compared with the ComEd rate, Mudge said.

Rock River Energy Services helps customers get the best energy rates, Mudge said after the meeting. The company has worked with Mt. Morris for many years, he said.

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner reports on Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties for Shaw Media out of the Dixon office. Previously, she worked for the Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Michigan, and the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.