Voters supported electric aggregation by a 60 percent majority in the March election, but aldermen turned the lights out on the concept Tuesday.
Aldermen voted, 4-3, against an ordinance allowing the city to administer the plan.
Under electric aggregation, the electric loads of those who do not opt out would be combined, with the city acting as a broker to try to negotiate cheaper power rates. The plan is made possible by the deregulation of Exelon, parent company of ComEd, because the power giant is no longer the sole provider of electricity in Northern Illinois.
If aldermen had passed the ordinance, the city would have sought bids from ComEd's competitors.
Voting against it were Ward 1 Alderman Carlo Colosimo, Ward 3 Alderman Chris Funkhouser and Ward 4 Aldermen Diane Teeling and Rose Spears. Ward 1 Alderman George Gilson Jr. was absent.
The issue was the subject of a March 20 referendum, when 1,399 voters supported authorizing the city to pursue aggregation. Some 949 voters, representing about 40 percent of the vote, did not support it.
City Administrator Bart Olson said the city cannot seek bids without aldermen approving the ordinance, so the issue is dead unless aldermen reconsider it.