Southern Illinois – Chamber of Commerce directors throughout Southern Illinois were recognized for their efforts in launching an unprecedented bulk electricity buying group that combined the purchasing power of the collective membership including chamber members from Carbondale, Carterville, Centralia, Herrin, Jefferson County, Lawrence County, Marion, Murphysboro, Salem and West Frankfort.

Mt. Vernon based, Affordable Gas & Electric, LLC (AGE), coordinated and negotiated rates with Collinsville, Ill. based, Ameren Energy Marketing, the retail energy supplier chosen for the buying group.  AGE recognized all Chamber Directors with a plaque commemorating the formation of the buying group.  Additionally, special recognition was presented to the following Chamber Directors for their efforts:

Salem CC – Leonard Ferguson
West Frankfort CC – Kenny Atkins
Greater Centralia CC – Bob Kelsheimer
Greater Centralia CC – Bob Kelsheimer
Carterville CC – Jan Campbell
Carbondale CC – Les O’Dell
Jefferson County CC – Brandon Bullard

“High Energy Director”
“Highest Average Member kWh”
“Most Participating Members”
“Largest % of Members”
“Largest Single kWh User”
“Largest Total kWh”
“Founding Chamber”

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More than 520 chamber-member businesses and organizations are currently participating in the Bulk Electricity Buying Group.  Savings from the combined group is estimated at over $2.5 million dollars annually

“Our participating members are able to lower their overall energy costs and use those savings to further build their businesses,” Les O’Dell, executive director of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce said. “That is a benefit not only to those businesses but to our community as a whole.”

“This program speaks to the core of what a chamber does for its members.  These directors took a staple expense to every business and found a way to collectively negotiate lower electricity rates, thus positively impacting the bottom line for everyone who participated” said Jeff Haarmann, managing partner of Affordable Gas & Electric.  “As an added bonus, these dollars saved stay in our Southern Illinois economy and get spent over and over again.”

For further information, please contact a participating Chamber of Commerce.