AURORA, Ill. (CBS) — In a couple of months, voters in several suburbs and outlying towns will be asked whether they want their towns to shop around for electricity alternatives.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Felicia Middlebrooks reports, on the March 20 ballot, dozens of towns in Kane County and nearby counties will ask voters for permission to shop for bids on residential and small-business electricity providers.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Felicia Middlebrooks reports

There’s no commitment in the referendum language by the municipalities to switch providers, and residents can opt out of the program if they want to stay with ComEd. The question is simply required before a municipality can move forward with bids.

The program was created by passage of legislation called the Community Choice Aggregation, which has a goal of allowing local governments to offer their residents a cheaper energy supply.

Elburn, North Aurora and Sugar Grove all approved similar referendums a year ago.

Among the Fox Valley government bodies which have submitted the question for the primary ballot are Kane County, for its unincorporated area, and Aurora, Oswego, Yorkville, Montgomery, Plano, Big Rock, Campton Hills, Plainfield, Hinckley, Maple Park, Minooka, Millington, Sandwich and Somonauk.

Other Kane County towns which have submitted the question for the ballot include Elgin, Algonquin, Barrington, Burlington, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Gilberts, Hampshire, Hoffman Estates, Huntley, South Elgin, Pingree Grove and West Dundee.

More towns also may raise the issue, as municipalities have until Thursday to submit referendum questions to the county clerk for certification, according to Kane’s director of elections, Mark Mossman.

The Aurora Beacon-News contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

Watch & Listen LIVE