CHICAGO, Oct. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) on Friday alerted northern Illinois consumers about a change in Commonwealth Edison's electricity price.
In October, ComEd's non-summer "price to compare"—the rate customers should compare to alternative supplier offers—is down nearly 1 percent from last October's rate. According to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), this is the new ComEd price through May 2020:
7.224 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh)* *This rate includes ComEd's supply price plus a transmission services charge.
Consumers who are pitched an offer from an alternative energy supplier should compare that company's price to ComEd's supply rate above. Since 2015, Illinois consumers have lost nearly $800 million to alternative energy suppliers, according to the latest statistics from the Illinois Commerce Commission's Office of Retail Market Development. Knowing ComEd's "price to compare" helps consumers make informed decisions about their power bills and avoid rip-offs.
"Knowledge is power, and not the kind that increases your electricity bills," CUB Communications Director Jim Chilsen said. "Consumers who are given good information don't get ripped off. Everyone should know that in the current market, ComEd is likely your best bet."
The utility watchdog advised consumers to visit CUB's online Help Center www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org to find more information on how to avoid alternative supplier scams. Consumers can also order a free copy of CUB's Gas and Electric guide at the online center.
When evaluating an alternative supply offer, follow these tips:
Don't give out your electric bill or account number unless you are sure you want to switch. An unethical marketer could use your account information to switch you to an alternative supplier without your consent.
Ask if the rate is an introductory or promotional rate, how long it lasts, and what the new rate will be once the temporary rate ends.
Ask if the plan charges a monthly fee, which will inflate the per-kWh rate.
Ask if the company charges an exit fee. Exit fees are capped at $50, and you can avoid the fee if you cancel the contract within 10 days of when the supplier's charges first appear on the bill. (Note: The Home Energy Affordability and Transparency [HEAT] Act, which CUB supported, outlaws exit fees, beginning Jan. 1).
CUB is Illinois' leading nonprofit utility watchdog group. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, CUB has saved consumers more than $20 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds. For more information, call CUB's Consumer Hotline at 1-800-669-5556 or visit CUB's award-winning website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.