Oak Park Opts for Renewable Electricity

The village of Oak Park has decided to purchase electricity from renewable sources.

In unanimously approving a 2-year contract for an alternative electrical supplier [in late October], Oak Park becomes the largest municipality in Illinois to switch to electrical aggregation. It also becomes the first municipality in the Midwest, and perhaps the nation, to opt for 100 percent renewable electric sources.

Village trustees, who finished hashing out numerous ordinance details shortly before midnight, rejected a proposal to use $400,000 of the estimated $4.5 million cost savings to establish a community aggregation energy efficiency fund. They also put off formally approving an ad hoc committee to advise the board on energy matters.

Village Manager Tom Barwin, an ardent proponent of green technology, used a sports analogy after the meeting.

“We hit a triple, but we could have had a home run,” he said.

The 2-year contract with Integrys Energy Group to provide electricity to the village’s homes and businesses features a 5.870 cents per kilowatt hour cost. The current ComEd rate is 7.73 cents per kilowatt hour.

Mark Pruitt, the former director of the Illinois Power Agency, said the average alternative provider price offer is “somewhere around 6.4, 6.6 cents per kilowatt hour.”

The changes go into effect January 1, 2012. Shortly thereafter, the spring semester at Roosevelt University will begin, and Dr. Carla Jones will once again teach an online seminar on the subject of energy and climate change.

Dr. Jones discusses some of the themes in the course in this interview with Interface Radio. Click here to listen to an .mp3 of their half-hour conversation. Dr. Jones will teach SUST 310 Energy and Climate Change online, and this interview gives a good idea of how she approaches the links between energy consumption, climate change, and particular consequences climate change has on the world’s oceans.

If you are interested in taking courses in the spring, please contact your RU academic advisor for registration details and consultations on financial aid options. If you are not currently a Roosevelt University student, we encourage you to investigate our degree options, and our course listings. For more information, please visit our Sustainability Studies website, call 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU) or email applyRU@roosevelt.edu.

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