Come Celebrate Cinco De Mayo at El Rancherito

Holiday Inn Express groundbreaking, Monday the 27th at 2:00 p.m.

if you missed the previous article..

FOR MEMBERS WHO HAVE CONTRACTS THROUGH THE CHAMBERS ELECTRIC PURCHASING PROGRAM.

Excepts from Affordable Gas & Electric Consultant Jeff Haarmann and the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

from Mr. Haarmann:

You’ve heard us preach for the past several months, a major shift in capacity pricing (the second largest component of the overall price of electricity) was forthcoming. On April 14, that shift exceeded the estimates by many when the auction closed at a 900% increase YOY. What that means to the future of electricity rates is that prices are going up dramatically. Because of your member’s affiliation with our Buying Group aggregation rates, our members were positioned to secure lower rates over the next few years, PRIOR to this large increase in costs. Here’s an article in today’s St. Louis Post Dispatch that discusses what happened and the affect it will have on those not in our group. Again, OUR PARTICIPATING CHAMBER MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATION MEMBERS ARE PROTECTED FROM THIS INCREASE AS WE LOCKED THEM IN AT THE LOWER RATES PRIOR TO THIS MAJOR INCREASE!!
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Metro East faces higher electricity prices
By Jacob Barker

Some Ameren Illinois customers are facing a 10 percent increase or more on their electric bills after the price paid to guarantee service soared.
The price customers pay to power plant owners so they stay available to pump juice into the grid at peak times jumped nine fold in downstate Illinois from last year. So-called capacity prices, a component of the overall price of electricity, rose to $150 a megawatt-day from $16.75 a megawatt day.
The result, says Illinois’ utility customer advocate, could be as much as $150 more a year in bills for customers. And Ameren, which only charges customers for delivering power In Illinois’ deregulated electric market, is questioning why Illinois prices are so different from neighboring states.
“It’s an incredibly disturbing situation, and it has really bad implications for Ameren Illinois customers,” said Citizens Utility Board Executive Director David Kolata. “We are now in Illinois going to be paying 50 times more than neighboring states for capacity. We see no rationalization for that.”
The capacity auction is administered by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO, which runs the grid in parts of 15 states in the central United States. The auction determines what energy providers pay to power plant owners over the coming year to make sure they’re available to deliver power when demand is highest. Results were announced this week.
The huge jump came while prices for capacity in many other MISO states fell. In Missouri, for instance, prices fell from $16.75 to $3.48 a megawatt day. In fact, $3.48 was the highest capacity price in all the other states within MISO’s footprint, making Illinois’ $150 per megawatt day a glaring outlier.

The Clothing XChange has joined the Chamber of Commerce

WELCOME NEW MEMBER

The Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome The Clothing XChange as Chamber’s newest member.

The XChange is located at 714 West Main Street and sells new and gently used name brand clothing ranging from kids, new born to adult.

The interesting aspect of the XChange is the availability to exchange outgrown good clothing with a credit toward the purchase of larger sized good clothing. This should be a big money saver for families with the normal fast growing children.

Charles Bunton is the owner and can be reached at 618-367-3238 or by email: cbunton78@gmail.com

Stop in and welcome Charles and view the racks of clothing.

Salem Area Foundation

GREATER SALEM AREA FOUNDATION……………………..

The first picture of the Greater Salem Area Foundation deliberating a request for assistance. For the last ten years members of the Foundation have assisted residents within the Salem High School district who face difficult times due to health issues, fire, accident, layoffs or other financial burdens.

The Foundation receives no city, state or federal assistance through grants but depend on the support of local businesses, citizens and fundraisers coordinated with the City of Salem Aquatics Center, Salem High School and Salem Bowl.

Over the years, many have been assisted and while the
Foundation may receive notes of appreciation from time to time, its the generosity of the community that makes the difference.

Recently members were photographed as they deliberated a housing repair project. Pictured are John Raymer (City of Salem), Sue Andrews (US Sonet), Bruce Jones (Office Products), Dan Nichols (Salem Times Commoner), Kevin Koenegstein (M & K Insurance) and David Coryell.

not pictured: Leonard Ferguson (Salem Chamber of Commerce) photographer, Joyce McWhorter (Salem Times Commoner), Steven Fox (County Clerk), Patti Hahn (County Treasurer), Larry Shelton (Pastor), Ron Campo (Educator), Tim Hudspeth (Salem Chamber) and Brian Gansauer (Salem Chamber President)

The Manor at Salem Woods Open House this Friday the 24th

American Legion Breakfast at the Marion County Fairgrounds

Senate Version Federal Permitting Improvement Act One Pager

Multi-industry Letter on S. 280 Federal Permitting Improvement Act

click on links to view articles and letter

John Stuehmeier & Terry Mulvany guest speakers at the Chamber Luncheon

CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP LUNCHEON

Department of Emergency Management Director Terry Mulvany and John Stuehmeier, General Manager of the Shoppers Weekly publication were the speakers for the luncheon.

Mulvany spoke on the importance of mutual aid assistance. He stated that while the Police, Fire, Hospital and Public works Departments are trained and would do everything possible, in the case of a F-4 tornado or like disaster, we would need all the help we could receive. That is where partnerships with agencies like the IESMA Illinois Emergency Services Management Association are crucial. In the case of such a disaster, they would come in and stay as long as needed.

Mulvany has been with the DOEM since 1980. He noted that while the Department has only 15 members, the CERTS Certified Emergency Response Team has 75 trained members ready and able should they be needed. CERT members were trained through the DOEM.

John Stuehmeier began his presentation with a little history about how he became involved in advertising and the beginnings of the. Shoppers Weekly. The publication began in 1988 and now has a staff of 11 and is distributed to 25,000 residents in Marion and Jefferson Counties.

During his presentation, Stuehmeier asked a series of questions for audience response. The point of the questions was to reach a point that the audience had the opportunity to judge if the Shoppers Weekly could be of service to their business needs. The point also being, don’t ever be afraid to contact the Shoppers Weekly if they can be of any help.

MESSAGE FROM AFFORDABLE GAS & ELECTRIC, SALEM CHAMBER’S ELECTRIC CONSULTANT…………………..

To All,
You’ve heard us preach for the past several months, a major shift in capacity pricing (the second largest component of the overall price of electricity) was forthcoming. On April 14, that shift exceeded the estimates by many when the auction closed at a 900% increase YOY. What that means to the future of electricity rates is that prices are going up dramatically. Because of your member’s affiliation with our Buying Group or your resident’s inclusion in our city/village aggregation rates, your members were positioned to secure lower rates over the next few years, PRIOR to this large increase in costs. Here’s an article in today’s St. Louis Post Dispatch that discusses what happened and the affect it will have on those not in our group. Again, OUR PARTICIPATING CHAMBER MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATION MEMBERS ARE PROTECTED FROM THIS INCREASE AS WE LOCKED THEM IN AT THE LOWER RATES PRIOR TO THIS MAJOR INCREASE!!

Jeff Haarmann, Affordable Gas & ElectricMetro East faces higher electricity prices
By Jacob Barker

Some Ameren Illinois customers are facing a 10 percent increase or more on their electric bills after the price paid to guarantee service soared.
The price customers pay to power plant owners so they stay available to pump juice into the grid at peak times jumped nine fold in downstate Illinois from last year. So-called capacity prices, a component of the overall price of electricity, rose to $150 a megawatt-day from $16.75 a megawatt day.
The result, says Illinois’ utility customer advocate, could be as much as $150 more a year in bills for customers. And Ameren, which only charges customers for delivering power In Illinois’ deregulated electric market, is questioning why Illinois prices are so different from neighboring states.
“It’s an incredibly disturbing situation, and it has really bad implications for Ameren Illinois customers,” said Citizens Utility Board Executive Director David Kolata. “We are now in Illinois going to be paying 50 times more than neighboring states for capacity. We see no rationalization for that.”
The capacity auction is administered by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO, which runs the grid in parts of 15 states in the central United States. The auction determines what energy providers pay to power plant owners over the coming year to make sure they’re available to deliver power when demand is highest. Results were announced this week.
The huge jump came while prices for capacity in many other MISO states fell. In Missouri, for instance, prices fell from $16.75 to $3.48 a megawatt day. In fact, $3.48 was the highest capacity price in all the other states within MISO’s footprint, making Illinois’ $150 per megawatt day a glaring outlier.

In Illinois’ deregulated electricity market, customers contract with electricity suppliers who deliver power through the wires owned by Ameren Illinois. Many residential customers are on fixed power contracts their municipalities negotiate with power suppliers, so the jump in charges won’t hit them immediately.
But Kolata said customers who aren’t immediately affected should still be worried.
“Next time you go to renegotiate your fixed price contract, this will be taken into account,” he said.

If approved by federal electricity regulators, the new prices take effect June 1 and run through May 2016.If approved by federal electricity regulators, the new prices take effect June 1 and run through May 2016.
Kolata said CUB will seek to amend MISO’s auction rules to avoid similar price disparities in the future. “Unless the rules change, it’s likely — it’s certainly the expectation that this level of pricing will continue going forward.”
It’s hard to know how many Ameren Illinois customers buy power under agreements that expose them to swings in the electricity market. About 500,000 customers buy power through Homefield Energy, the retail unit of Dynegy Inc. Dynegy operates nine downstate Illinois coal plants, including those formerly owned by Ameren. It committed 1,864 megawatts in the auction.
Spokesman Micah Hirschfield said all Dynegy’s Homefield retail customers are on fixed contracts.
However, some cities have contracts that expire soon.
Ameren Illinois, in a statement, said it was “extremely concerned and upset” about the capacity auction results and that it would work “to resolve this inequity to our customers.”
“We plan on asking for a written accounting from MISO to get clarity on how this happened and what needs to be done to prevent it from happening again in the future,” Ameren Illinois spokeswoman Marcelyn Love said in an email.
Morningstar analyst Andrew Bischof said in a research note Wednesday that capacity auction prices cleared “well above our expectations.” He noted MISO had a “very young” capacity market, so it’s difficult to forecast prices. “What the market is reflecting is there is a need for new generation,” he said.
While some coal plants in the country may close due to environmental regulations, Dynegy’s spokesman said there were no plans to close its coal plants and they are “doing very well in Illinois.”
Nuclear power plant operator Exelon, on the other hand, has been warning some of its plants are no longer economic. One of those, its Clinton plant, is in the MISO region and committed capacity in the auction, the company confirmed.
“The auction results reduce Clinton’s economic losses, but the plant remains uneconomic and may prematurely shut down absent Illinois legislative changes to outdated policies that do not allow nuclear energy to compete on a level playing field with other zero carbon resources,” Exelon said in a statement.The company is pushing a bill in the Illinois Legislature that would require 70 percent of a utility’s power sales to come from low carbon sources, including nuclear. That could be offset by a charge on customer bills.
Kolata said the pricing disparities in the MISO auction are “an indictment” of the system.
“We think that clearly something has gone wrong here,” he said. “When you have such a bizarre outcome I think it raises a lot of questions about the capacity regime.”
MISO said in a statement it developed its auction procedures with stakeholders that included consumer advocates.
“MISO’s resource adequacy construct is designed to facilitate reliability at the lowest possible cost,” the statement said. Jeff Haarmann
Managing Partner