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What is Illinois energy deregulation and how can it help?

Energy deregulation in Illinois sounds more complicated than it is. Just substitute the word “choice” for “deregulation” and the concept is clear. In Illinois, some residents have the right to choose their electricity and natural gas providers rather than being stuck paying rates from traditional utilities.

Check out the video below to learn more:

 Current Price to Compare IL Rates

Utility Company  Price to Compare
Ameren Electric 6.167 ¢ / kwh
Commonwealth Edison 7.195 ¢ / kwh
Supplier Plan Energy Term Length Rate
Constellation Energy 6 month fixed 6.89¢
Constellation Energy 12 month fixed 7.59¢
Constellation Energy 24 month fixed 7.49¢
Constellation Energy 12 month fixed 7.99¢
North American Power 12 month fixed 7.29¢

We have 11 more plans available in 61111.

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If all this is new to you, don’t despair. About two-thirds of your neighbors don’t know about energy deregulation either, even though it has been around since 2002. That’s according to the results of a recent ChooseEnergy.com Google survey of Illinois residents. The question: What does energy deregulation mean?

  • Nearly 46 percent of respondents said outright that they didn’t know what energy deregulation is.
  • About 10 percent of respondents said deregulation means that their energy will cost more than regulated prices; about 8 percent thought it would cost less. Neither of those statements is true all the time (though in many cases you can save on your energy supply rate).
  • About 36 percent selected the correct answer: “It means I can select my energy supplier.”

Only 9.5 percent of residents say they exercise energy choice, despite the potential savings. That’s why we’ve compiled the following list of questions – and answers – about energy deregulation in Illinois.

Can I save money?

In many cases, you can. But to make sure, you have to know the traditional utility’s rate, called the price to compare, often abbreviated as PTC. More than 71 percent of Illinois residents who responded to our survey either didn’t know what their price to compare was or didn’t understand it.

But, again, the concept isn’t difficult. Let’s use the city of Joliet as an example. Joliet’s traditional utility for the 60435 area code is Commonwealth Edison. As of late February, its price to compare is 7.195 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh); at this writing, four plans from ChooseEnergy.com featured suppliers with lower rates, including one that’s 18% cheaper and uses all green energy.

Spoiler alert: Prices can change daily – enter your ZIP code above and see what’s available.

How difficult is it to switch?

It isn’t difficult at all! Simply pick the plan you like, sign up with your new provider and it will arrange the switch for you. There should be no interruption of power, and you won’t need to be home for the switch to be made.

Do I have to get another meter? Will there be more electric lines?

No and no. Your electricity will still be delivered by ComEd or Ameren. It will come over the same lines and go through the same meter. Your bill also will still come from ComEd or Ameren. The only difference is the company that supplies the electricity – and the price you pay for it.

What happens when my plan ends?

Your supplier should send you a notice at least 30 days before your plan is up. You can then choose a new plan. If you don’t, your suppler could renew you at a different rate.

Other questions? Visit our FAQs.

Is energy deregulation in Illinois popular?

More than 3 million Illinois residents and business owners have made the switch to deregulated electricity and/or natural gas. Those folks have taken control of their energy costs.

You owe it to yourself and your bank account to exercise choice – especially when there could be better prices out there for your electricity and natural gas. Enter your ZIP code today and see whether you can start saving on your rates.

"I will save 15 cents per therm on my gas bill. I love this site and they make it so easy to compare and find more inexpensive suppliers."

Dennis, Chicago, IL

"The price of electricity on the site is reasonable."

Choose Energy Customer, Justice, IL

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