PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – As the summer approaches, energy experts are warning the community about increased energy prices that are on the horizon.

During Tuesday’s Peoria City Council meeting, a representative with the consulting firm Good Energy sounded the alarm on rising energy prices for Central Illinoisans.

It’s a nationwide issue that’s been impacted by factors such as inflation and renewable energy not filling the gap left by fossil fuel plants that have closed or preparing to close.

“You can imagine that global events like natural gas and the war (in Ukraine), and how a bunch of other things have come into play here,” said Charles de Casteja, managing partner at Good Energy.

With the help of Good Energy, 41 Central Illinois communities are in a buying group, or an aggregate, to provide lower energy costs to customers. A volatile market has kept a new contract from being signed ahead of this summer.

“We were going to purchase for the group on the Monday after Easter, Easter Monday, and on that day it was the highest market in 15 years,” de Casteja said.

For June and July, those in the aggregation program will return to Ameren rates.

As power supply issues persist, Ameren Illinois said customers will see about a $500 dollar increase a year in their energy bills, beginning in June.

“We’re frustrated by this as well,” said Tucker Kennedy, director of communications at Ameren Illinois. “We take the power that’s purchased for us, we deliver it to our customers, we pass those costs through one to one directly, with no profit,” Kennedy said.

de Casteja said for the month of August, rates appear to be improving, and now the clock ticks to get a contract finished by June 3.

“So this is a very, very live situation,” de Casteja said.

Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich said the city is working to inform the community of the upcoming costs.

“The sticker shock is going to be coming in with the next bills that come through,” Urich said.

Peoria County Administrator Scott Sorrel said the county is also working on a broader communication strategy regarding energy rates.

“Look for communications from the County and other local governments in the region, and do not accept any of the third-party offers you might receive in the mail,” Sorrel said.