MORTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Morton’s public works director is sounding the alarm large energy price increases are on the horizon.

Craig Loudermilk, public works director for Morton, said the village is part of a 41-community municipal aggregation program, which allows them to offer lower rates. The current contract with energy provider Homefield ends June 22. Customers will be then be switched to Ameren until the new contract is finalized.

“They [energy consultant Good Energy L.P.] recommended we not bid at that time due to soaring prices and supply shortages. We’ve been listening to them, their recommendations. We’re hopeful to have something in by August 1st,” he explained.

Loudermilk warned customers to be aware of a big jump in July’s energy bill.

“I just plead with people to understand that June… the June meter is going to change. So don’t wait till your July bill to do something different,” he said.

He said the current contracted rate is 4.28 cents per kwH. But the new contract won’t be anything close to that price.

“That’s a fantastic price right now … we’re hopeful to see anything even around the 10 cent range. So we’re talking about 230% increase right now,” he said.

Loudermilk said he sympathized with customers, who could see upwards of $1,000 energy bill increase during the year. He suggested being frugal with energy use in anticipation of the price increase.

“This is an extreme cost, especially with the cooling season coming, I think our customers are going to get really hard and that’s unfortunate,” he said. “Until I see that first bill in July, I would caution people to be careful about where they’re at… because they’re going to be surprised with their bill,” he said.

Loudermilk blamed the energy supply shortage on national and state energy policies.

“I think right now the biggest thing in the state of Illinois is there isn’t enough electricity. There’s an electric shortage that we’re going to experience soon…Anytime you hear shortages of energy, something is going to happen. Hopefully we don’t’ get to the point we start seeing blackouts is my concern,” he said.