Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing a new plan to skim off some of the savings Chicago electricity customers stand to gain from lower rates expected as part of a bulk power purchasing contract, with the money going for unspecified energy efficiency projects.
The mayor also wants greater control over how much of the deal a company can get.
Some aldermen are skeptical, questioning Emanuel's power grab on the specifics of electrical aggregation, which allows the city to negotiate lower rates on residents' behalf. Last week, 56 percent of Chicago voters agreed with the idea in a referendum question.
Now the rush is on to lock in savings as soon as possible. Emanuel wants to award the power savings deal within a month.
On Wednesday, the City Council Finance Committee was set to discuss the framework put forth by Alds. Edward Burke, 14th, and Patrick O'Connor, 40th, to govern the process of picking firms to undertake the aggregation work, but Emanuel instead introduced his own plan.