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Morris approves gas aggregation program

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 8:47 p.m. CDT

MORRIS – The city of Morris will save about 23 percent on its natural gas bill for the seven-month period starting in September.

The city has entered into a natural gas aggregation program offered by Hudson Energy. The aggregation will apply to the 11 city-owned facilities that use natural gas and is not a program open to all residents, Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick said Tuesday.

With the program, the cost of the city’s natural gas supply will be fixed at a lower-than-normal rate beginning in September of this year and ending next March.

The savings comes at no cost to the city as Hudson Energy does not require a fee for finding the city a less expensive natural gas supply.

“Up to this point, the city has done nothing and is in what is generally known as the default program. The default program is the most-expensive program to be placed in,” Hudson Energy Regional Distributor Mike Barnett said during the more recent Finance & Administration Committee meeting.

The committee recommended the agreement with Hudson last week, and the full City Council approved entering into the agreement at its regular meeting Monday.

During the council meeting, Kopczick reminded members of the public that the program is commercial and only applies to the city’s buildings, unlike the electrical aggregation program, which is residential and open to all Morris residents.

The natural gas program is, however, nearly identical in concept to the electrical aggregation program, Barnett said.

The city’s gas will continue to be distributed by Nicor, but where the actual supply of gas comes from will change, depending on which has the best price.

Hudson Energy will find the city the most inexpensive rate they can and lock in that rate for seven months to avoid price fluctuations that come with changes in the economy and weather.

“We were able to take advantage of a lower pricing in the summertime, lock it in and be able to have that fixed rate throughout the winter,” Kopczick said.

Although residents won’t see the direct savings, the city will be saving taxpayer money by shrinking its monthly gas bills, Kopczick said.

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