Illinois Electricity-More Choices Now

Homeowners and businesses in Illinois have a choice to select their electricity provider. The Illinois Electricity Service Customer Choice and Rate Relief Law of 1997 restructured the state's electric service industry to allow a choice of electric suppliers. With electric choice, the electric supply may now be provided by different companies known as Retail Electric Suppliers (RESs).

At Ameren and ComEd, a customer's electric bill has been separated into two parts:

  • Regulated distribution of power, which is still only provided by the utility, and
  • Supply of the electric commodity, which is open to competition.

Customers can choose to receive their Illinois electricity supply from their utility, or an alternative retail electric supplier. If customers don't choose an alternative electric supplier, the utilities serve customers on "default" service. However, consumers need to be watchful when switching to new providers for long-term contracts, as it would invariably include fees for early termination, a separate monthly maintenance fees and a long list of other charges, which you will not be aware of if you do not insist on reading between the lines.

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