Cherry Valley residents still confused about electricity bills - – Rockford’s News Leader

Cherry Valley residents still confused about electricity bills


Electric aggregation has some people in the Rockford area confused, especially a handful in the Village of Cherry Valley.

It's been a drawn out process for residents in the Southvale and Swanson Park subdivisions. That's because they're technically part of the Village of Cherry Valley, but have Rockford addresses. Now, people who live there are having problems signing up to be part of the electric aggregation program.

"They should have checked the list to make sure we were included, and they didn't," says Bonnie Whitmer, a Cherry Valley resident who didn't receive her electric aggregation letter.

Nearly 160 homes in the Village of Cherry Valley didn't receive their electric aggregation letters. Village administrators say they didn't forget the neighborhoods, but admit they made a mistake.

"Cherry Valley is in five separate zip codes," says David Nord, Village of Cherry Valley Administrator. "The people who were in 61108 and 61109 within those two subdivisions were inadvertently taken as Rockford residents. In other words, ComEd said, 'Oh these people belong to Rockford.' No they don't. They belong to us."

People like Bonnie Whitmer and her neighbors have Rockford mailing addresses. But since they're within the boundaries of the Village of Cherry Valley, they should have been included. The village realized its mistake and sent out new letters telling residents what to do next, but unfortunately, the next step means more work.

"Being left off that list initially, they had to opt in which means literally call the company and say we want to take part in this program,"Nord says. "So it's an inconvenience and we certainly apologize for that."

Whitmer says when she called First Energy, it wasn't smooth sailing, sometimes having to argue with them to put her in the program.

"I have called them," Whitmer says. "And I was on hold for probably a half an hour before I got in. Some neighbors have told me they were on hold up to an hour and a half to get in."

The Village of Cherry Valley says everyone who should have received a letter has now. This does not include people in the county. They voted against the program and won't get a letter.

"If you're on this side of the line, you're one of us," says Nord. "If you're not, you're in the county. And it's just that simple. But again, with the cross overs and all these leakages of different zip codes, it just happens sometimes, and we're sorry it did."

If you've already signed up to get electricity from another provider, you also won't get a letter. Nord says if people want to switch to village's aggregation program, they'll have to call on their own.

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