Illinois Electricity Shopping Continues to Grow

The competitive residential electricity market in Illinois continues to grow as consumer awareness of energy choice increases. Electricity choice has been steady in the Illinois commercial market, however residential awareness has only seen significant growth in the past year.

All four main utilities in Illinois – ComEd, Ameren I, Ameren II, Ameren III – have seen extreme growth in customer participation over the last twelve months. In July of 2011 the total number of Illinois electricity households buying power from a competitive supplier was just over 54,000 with just over 52,000 of those customers living in the ComEd territory. In July 2012 the total number of Illinois choice customers jumped up to over 800,000 with 527,000 of these customers located in the ComEd service area. The three Ameren areas went from having just below 2,000 shoppers in July of 2011 to over 270,000 in July of 2012.

The huge market growth has been a direct result of low electric rates that competitive energy companies have been able to offer to Illinois consumers compared to the utility default rates. When Illinois electricity consumers do not shop for competitive electric rates they end up paying a default rate for their generation supply service. The default rate, called the price to compare, is determined by several auctions held by the utilities for energy companies who wish to bid for the right to serve a percentage of price to compare customers. Since the Illinois energy choice law allows consumers to switch off of price to compare service and onto a competitive rate at anytime, the energy companies must put a premium on their price bids. The rapid move of customers taking the time to find cheaper electric rates has further increased this premium.

Meanwhile, those customers who do take the time to learn about Illinois electricity choice and compare electricity rates will be able to save a significant amount of money on their electricity bills. Most competitive electricity companies offer single billing which means that the Illinois consumer continues to only get one electric bill from the utility (ComEd, Ameren) that they are used to getting the monthly bill from. The competitive electric rate simply replaces the supply charges, which include generation and transmission, on the electric bill. If the competitive rate is less than the sum of the generation and transmission utility default rate you will pay less and save on your electricity bill.

Find your Illinois utility below and choose a competitive electric rate so you can start saving money!


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