oak park energy

Still Time to Opt Out of the Brown Energy Default


According to data provided by Constellation via Rob Cole, Oak Park Assistant Village Manager,  as of May 8th a total of 3300 households, approximately 15%, OPTED OUT, of the default Brown Energy Option offered by the village.  Thank you to all who took the initiative to choose a green energy plan! While 15% of households opting out of brown energy is commendable, this means that 85% of households are still purchasing the default aggregation mix of coal, natural gas and nuclear energy sources.  This is why we are asking the Oak Park Village Board to make 100% renewable energy the DEFAULT community aggregation option in 2015!

For those of you that missed the original window to enroll in the 100% renewable energy option, the good news is that there is still time!  Constellation Energy will allow Oak Park customers who are in the Aggregation program to continue to enroll in the 100% renewable energy option at any time.  Requests received after May 8th may not take effect in-time for the first billing cycle.

To enroll in the 100% renewable energy option through Constellation:itisnttoolate-222x300

  • You’ll need to have your ComEd account number ready, then call 800.718.1493 and tell the Constellation Customer Service Rep  that you live in Oak Park and that you want to enroll in the 100% renewable energy option.  Please note that Constellation's per kwh rate offered to Oak Park residents is fixed for 1 year at 7.57 cents.

Please help spread the word to others so we can continue to grow the renewable energy industry!


3 More Days to Enroll in Oak Park's Green Energy Program

Oak Park residents have until May 8th to make a difference for people and the planet by choosing 100% renewable energy. As of May 5th approximately 1300 children_globe1households  (6%) had opted into the green energy option for aggregated electricity in Oak Park.  Hooray! And Thank you!

But, Can We Beat the Odds?

Experts say that at most, only 5-10% of a population will actually take the action to opt-in when they must actively do something rather than go with the default option.  Although the green energy option is starting with a huge disadvantage by not being the default option we believe Oak Park can do better and we are asking you to help accomplish that for the sake of future generations.

Here's what we can do to help beat the odds:

  1. Oak Park, IL residents — to opt into 100% renewable (green) energy, please follow these easy instructions before May 8th:
    • With just a quick call (5-10 min), you can select 100% renewable energy for your home.
    • You'll need to have your ComEd account number ready, then just call 1.800.718.1493 and tell the Constellation Customer Service Rep that you want 100% renewable energy.
    • If you have the letter from Constellation, with the "opt-out code"  That is helpful but not required.
  2. Please help spread the word to others.  People can't choose renewable energy if they don't know about it.  Choose the methods that work for you to remind friends, neighbors and perfect strangers standing next to you  in the grocery store!  Here are a few ideas to make sharing simpler:

- Send Email, post on Facebook,  or Tweet to your networks.  Consider using the Share buttons at the bottom of this post.

- Walk your block and chat with your neighbors about it.

- At a book club meeting, school concert, sports event or other event where people will gather this week? -- Consider asking people if they have enrolled in the Green Energy Option.

- Tell us your creative ideas about how to get the word out!


Note:  If you would like half sheet fliers with instructions about how to opt into 100% renewable energy to share with others please contact Sally Stovall (773-315-1109 or sally@greencommunityconnections.org).  The Village has created materials on the enrollment process that you may use to disseminate to your friends and neighbors - just click here.

Together we can do it!

Together we can beat the odds and boost the percentage of residents who  opt-in to green energy over the next 3 days ! Can we get 15%? 20%? Wouldn't it be amazing to get 25% or more?

Thank you for your help! And our children and grandchildren thank you, too!


Oak Park Residents Voice Strong Support for Green Energy


Oak Park residents packed the house to send a message to Village trustees: We want green energy back! Citizens came out in full force to voice support for green energy at the Oak Park Village Board meeting on Monday, April 21. The audience filled all the seats, sat in the aisles, stood at the back of the room and even went up into the balcony. Participants let the Village Board know that they disagreed with the decision to go with a brown energy supplier for Oak Park's municipal aggregation electricity program.  They pointed out the climate impact of continued fossil fuel use, clearly a key concern for many in the room.  It was a powerful and inspiring experience for residents and trustees alike.

Board mtg 2014Apr21 spkr

Twenty residents spoke during the public comment period, which lasted more than an hour.  Even residents who didn't directly address the trustees were lively and engaged. The audience applauded their neighbors' eloquence, nodded vigorously in agreement with their passionate arguments and sometimes vocalized displeasure with the Board.

As resident Mac Robinet said, “We’re all learning from this.”   The 60 minutes of public comments highlight Oak Park’s history of taking leadership on difficult issues, point out the important role that cities are playing in addressing climate change and illustrate, in a variety of ways, that what Oak Park does matters.    The perspective of new home buyers who are considering Oak Park and looking for a socially conscious community was presented.  Also heard was that although the brown energy option was on its face the lowest cost option, residents identified a myriad of hidden costs that affect health and prospects for the future.  You can view a recorded telecast of the entire meeting online here.

Green energy bd mtg 2014Apr21Afterward, when it was the trustees' turn to speak, Colette Lueck, who has been serving in Oak Park  government for 25 years, told the audience that this issue spurred the strongest outpouring of resident participation she's ever seen. In addition to packing the board meeting, residents sent emails and letters, called the trustees, wrote opinion pieces for the newspapers, and delivered a petition with over 500 signatures.

Read more in the Wednesday Journal: http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/4-22-2014/Sounding-down-on-brown-energy/ and in Oak Leaves: http://oakpark.suntimes.com/news/government/electric-OAK-05012014:article

Oak Park IL residents -- to opt for 100% renewable (green) energy, please follow these easy instructions before May 8! Please also spread the word to others.


Citizens Urge Oak Park Board to "Get on Board" with Green Energy

Action Alert:  Rally 17Feb13 Not Easy Being Green

On April 11, 2014, the Oak Park Village Board reversed its commitment to renewable energy and voted to change our community choice aggregation investment from green to brown.  (See related Chicago Tribune article.)

It may be too late to change this particular decision by the board, but it is NOT too late -- and it is crucially important -- that we use our voice to express our continuing desire to have Oak Park take leadership in building a sustainable, resilient community and to ensure that the Village Board is "on board" with us!!

If that is a message that you would like to send to the Oak Park Village Board, please consider taking the following actions. join in the Green Energy Appeal:

  1. Help us pack the house during the next village board MEETING, scheduled for Monday, April 21 at 8PM at Village Hall (Lombard and Madison). Our attendance will demonstrate support for green energy and sustainability policies.
  2. Sign the PETITION, urging the board to recommit Oak Park to 100% renewable (green) energy now. If you want to make additional comments, write to: board@oak-park.us to remind the members that we expect them to be sustainability leaders.  Remember to say “Thank you!” to Trustee Colette Lueck, the lone board member who spoke in favor of choosing a green energy investment option.
  3. SHARE a link to the Oak Park Green Energy Appeal page with your family and friends via an email or social media.  Watch for updates, background and additional action ideas.
  4. Stay tuned for information about how you can opt out of brown (fossil fuel-based) energy in Oak Park.
  5. OTHER CREATIVE ACTIONS as you are so inspired, e.g., write a letter to the editor at Wednesday Journal, Oak Leaves, Tribune, and/or Sun Times. Make signs to bring to Village Board meetings.

As Trustee Lueck said, “This [slight cost increase to support green energy] is a hit I could live with, because I think green is important to Oak Park. . . I also think it is important to the future of our world.”

We do, too!


On October 18, 2011, the Oak Park Village Board approved a plan making Oak Park the first municipality in Illinois to aggregate the resident and small business energy purchasing power and invest in a 100% renewable energy program.  Since then, 91 communities in the state followed suit.

Just over two years later, on April 11, 2014, the Oak Park Village Board reversed its commitment to renewable energy and voted to change our community choice aggregation investment from green to brown.  (See related Chicago Tribune article.)

All of the available options included rate increases; the Oak Park Village Board chose the lowest cost option.  We appreciate that the board is being cost-sensitive on our behalf, but we also know that opting for dirty energy has hidden health and climate costs that are not included in the price.  These are what we can’t afford to pay!

Right here in the U.S., climate change is taking a toll on people's lives, damaging land and wildlife, threatening our food supply, and hurting the economy. Think about it: severe weather was not good for Oak Park this past winter, it is not good for the drought stricken farms of the western U.S., it is not good for the flooded Southeast, and it was not good for the people who lost homes and loved ones in Super Storm Sandy.

Most disconcertingly, the Village Board made its decision just days after the release of a United Nations report on climate change that was written by hundreds of the world's leading climate scientists. The report called for immediate policy action to reduce carbon emissions. One of the best ways to do so is to invest in renewable energy.