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Learn About Energy Companies in Chicago

The Illinois Electric Service Customer Choice and Rate Relief Law of 1997 restructured the electric service industry to give consumers more options. Before, everyone in the state had to get both their energy supply and distribution from their utility company. Now, residents and business owners can choose separate Chicago electricity and natural gas supply companies and still depend on their utility for distribution. The competition between alternative energy companies in Chicago can keep supply rates competitive for consumers.

Understanding Chicago electricity suppliers

If you live in the Ameren Illinois or ComEd service areas of Illinois, you have the ability get your electricity supply from the utility or from an alternative retail electric supplier (ARES). If you choose to use an alternative Chicago electricity supplier, you may have a variety of supply plans available to you that aren't available from your utility. Also, when using a retail supplier, your billing process may change. Depending on the ARES, you may receive one bill or two. Sometimes the supply charge is listed on your utility bill; other companies may send out a separate bill. Either way, you will still be charged delivery fees from your utility.

Since Ameren Illinois and ComEd are utilities, they deliver electricity to your home. Your utility is still responsible for making sure you get electricity. If you experience a power outage, be sure to contact your utility company.

Compare Chicago electricity rates and plans

Chicago electricity rates vary among supply companies, so consumers are encouraged to compare supply rates and plans to find the best option. There are many factors that go into a Chicago electricity plan. Month-to-month contracts may benefit those who don't know how long they will be in the Chicago area. Longer contracts require more of a commitment, but could offer price protected rates and other benefits.

Chicago electricity supply companies may offer variable-rate plans and/or secured-rate plans. With variable-rate plans, your rate per kWh may increase or decrease during your contract, depending on market prices. If market prices increase, your rate per kWh could increase as well. However, if the market prices decrease, your supply rate can decrease. Secured-rate plans allow you to keep a supply rate for your entire contract. It is important to research and compare Chicago electricity rates in your area before choosing a plan.

Gas companies in Chicago area

If you live in the Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas or Nicor Gas service area, you have the ability to get your natural gas supply from a retail gas company. In the Chicago area, similarly to with Chicago electricity suppliers, natural gas rates vary among retail suppliers. When you compare retail supply companies, be sure to ask about the length of contracts to see what is available in your area. Natural gas plans also may come in variable-rate and secured-rate plans. Research your options so you can find the best gas supply plan for you.

Find plans in your area

The more you know about energy companies in Chicago, the better your plan can be. The Windy City has a lot to offer its residents. Locals can enjoy walks on Navy Pier, shopping on the Magnificent Mile and attending Cubs games at Wrigley Field. Type in your ZIP code to find energy companies in Chicago that are available in your area.

Updated: 8-31-15.

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How does Illinois energy use measure up?

state facts pdf

Ever wonder how much energy the average resident uses each year? How about how much carbon dioxide the state emits or how big the renewable energy industry is? We did the homework for you and created some glance-worthy fact sheets on each state's energy profile.

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