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Compare Illinois natural gas and electricity rates

At Choose Energy, our reporters seek out information that puts you in control of your energy. Our partners do not direct our editorial content, though we may reference their products in our posts. Read about how we make money to learn more.

For business
Illinois
Key points
  • Illinois has had a deregulated energy market since 1997. 
  • Illinois residents will likely be served by one of these utility companies: ComEd, Ameren Illinois, Mt. Carmel Public Utility, and MidAmerican Energy.
  • Enter your ZIP code to explore affordable Illinois electric and gas rates on the Choose Energy marketplace.

Illinois energy rates

Many consumers across the U.S. are used to tightly regulated energy markets that offer no choice in energy and gas providers. That’s not the case for Illinois, one of several states that have a deregulated energy market. If you live or operate a business in Illinois, you have the power to choose your energy provider and prices.

Wherever you live in Illinois, you can compare your local utility’s pricing with a host of suppliers in your area. Choose Energy streamlines this process by offering a one-stop shop to compare Illinois energy rates and plans.

Understanding deregulation in Illinois

The word “deregulation” can be confusing, but it simply means that customers can purchase electricity and natural gas from any of several suppliers in their area. Residents in states with deregulated markets no longer have to buy only from their local utility company. 

Deregulation came to Illinois in 1997, allowing private suppliers to sell power at competitive rates. Since then, numerous suppliers have entered the Illinois market. If you’re shopping for energy plans, it’s important to carefully compare electric and gas rates in Illinois to make sure you choose the supplier and plan that’s right for your household.

Illinois public utilities are overseen by the Illinois Commerce Commission, which you can contact if you have any disputes with your supplier that can’t be resolved.

Energy plans in Illinois

Choose Energy provides resources to help you understand the deregulated market. We also offer the tools you need to make an Illinois electric rates comparison and decide which supplier and rate structure best meet your needs. Here is an overview of some of the most important information you need:

  • How can I switch from my current energy provider? First, find a copy of your latest electric bill. Then go to ChooseEnergy.com and enter your ZIP code for a list of suppliers and rate plans in your neighborhood. Compare the current rates listed on your bill to the available rates, choose a plan, and enroll online or over the phone. Your new supplier will take it from there.
  • How do I decide which energy plan is best for me? We know that energy plans aren’t always easy to understand, so we’ve created this guide to help you understand the lingo. Take a few minutes to review it so you can compare the various plans to determine which is right for you.
  • Are deposits required for energy service? Traditional variable-rate and fixed-rate plans often require a deposit unless your credit score is fairly high. But many suppliers offer no-deposit plans, most often prepaid. Keep in mind that these generally have higher rates.
  • What is the difference between fixed-rate, variable-rate, and prepaid plans? A fixed-rate plan sets your rate for the duration of your contract. It’s easier to end your service with a variable-rate plan, but your rates can change based on the volatile energy market. Prepaid plans allow you to pay for energy upfront and avoid making a deposit.
  • Are there different renewable energy plans? Green energy is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint by relying on solar or other renewable energy forms. Illinois energy plans must feature at least 25% renewable energy by 2025, and many suppliers already include this as a plan feature.
  • What happens if I don’t choose an energy supplier? If you don’t select a retail energy supplier, your supplier will be your local utility company. There are four main utility companies in Illinois: ComEd, Ameren Illinois, Mt. Carmel Public Utility, and MidAmerican Energy. Compare your utility electric rates to those offered by retail suppliers to determine if you should switch.

Illinois utility companies and energy providers

A counterintuitive aspect of deregulation is that your chosen retail supplier does not actually deliver your natural gas and electricity to your home. The utility that serves your area delivers your power. You would call your utility company about any power outages since it maintains the infrastructure and power lines.

You cannot choose your utility company, but you can choose your energy provider. Your provider will determine your rates and provide your energy service. Popular suppliers in Illinois include Direct Energy, Clearview Energy, and Spark Energy. There may be other options in your ZIP code, as well.

Find the right energy plan with Choose Energy

Choose Energy makes it easy to find the natural gas and electricity plans that are best for you. The process is quick and painless, and you can do it in three simple steps:

  1. Simply enter your ZIP code to browse a list of available retail suppliers and plans.
  2. Filter your search results by plan type and select the one that fits your needs.
  3. Enroll online or over the phone. Your chosen suppliers will be in touch to complete your setup, all without changing meters or dealing with an interruption in service.

Frequently asked questions about Illinois energy

How long does it take to switch energy providers?

Finding a new provider on the Choose Energy marketplace is fast and easy. Once you’re signed up, your new service usually begins on the next billing cycle (within 30–60 days). Your provider will make sure the transition to your new plan is smooth without any interruption to your power.

Is a deposit required for my energy plan?

Many energy suppliers require a deposit if your credit score doesn’t meet a certain threshold. However, you can find a variety of no-deposit plans on our marketplace. Simply filter your search results for this type of plan to compare your options.

How can I lower my electric bill?

There are many ways to lower your energy bills, including performing regular maintenance on your HVAC, installing energy-efficient appliances, and reducing your heating and cooling usage. If these changes don’t lower your bills enough, consider changing to a supplier with a lower rate. Be aware that if you are currently on a fixed-rate plan, you may be required to pay an early termination fee (ETF) if you switch before the end of your contract.

Please note: All rates above are accurate as of 7/9/2020 for utility Nicor Gas. Rates may have changed since this date. For the most up to date rates in your area, please enter your zip code here on our natural gas page.

Please note: All rates above are accurate as of 7/9/2020 for utility North Shore Gas. Rates may have changed since this date. For the most up to date rates in your area, please enter your zip code here on our natural gas page.

Please note: All rates above are accurate as of 7/9/2020 for utility Peoples Gas. Rates may have changed since this date. For the most up to date rates in your area, please enter your zip code here on our natural gas page.

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