Avilla gets new power provider

AVILLA – The current supplier of electric power to the Town of Avilla is Indiana & Michigan Power (I&M). There is currently a 20-year contract in place, with an opt-out option available. In 2016, Avilla notified I&M that they were going to find another power supplier. The current contract is in place until June 30, 2020. Avilla, along with Bluffton, Garret, New Carlisle, Mishawaka and Warren, which are opting out of their contracts as well, is working with H.J. Umbaugh and Associates to find a different supplier.

On June 4th, representatives from each of the towns were on a conference call with Umbaugh to review bids from the potential electric suppliers. Three bids were received and reviewed. The three bidders were American Electric Power Energy Services (AEP), British Petroleum (BP), and Wolverine Power Cooperative. The best bid was determined to be the one from Wolverine Power Cooperative; which also was the lowest cost bid. Their bid would lower electric bills 28% to 32% as compared to current contract rates. The next lowest bid was from BP, with AEP being the highest. All six towns signed a contract with Wolverine Power Cooperative. Each town’s contract is for 5 years except for Garrett; which is 6 years, due to when they opted out of their current contract. The new contract goes into effect July 1, 2020, and ends June 30, 2025.

The current electric power provider, I&M, estimates their rates based on the previous year and then at the end of the year, applies a true-up charge/credit to match the actual cost. The true-up for last year was a charge of $77,440.38. The true-ups are rarely a credit. Since there are two more years on the current contract there will be two more true-ups. Wolverine Power Cooperative determines their price differently and does not use true-ups.

The electric lines which currently carry the power are owned by I&M and will continue to be once Wolverine Power Cooperative begins supplying the power. I&M includes a trans-mission charge in the current bills which is between 30 and 35 percent of the bill. The
transmission charge will be a pass-through for Wolverine. The electric meters will still be owned by the Town of Avilla.