For more than 20 years, Illinois residents have had a legal right to choose where their electricity comes from. Under the state's energy liberalization law, you can choose your energy supplier and potentially save money on your utility bills.
“You can often lower your overall electricity bill by shopping with a different provider,” said Cliff Hoefke, director of the Center for Energy Resources at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “But as a homeowner, it takes some homework to find out who these different power suppliers are.”
There are many risks when switching energy suppliers, so be sure to check all your options. “In recent years, Illinois consumers have lost more than $800 million from alternative energy providers,” according to the Citizens Utility Commission, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people pay their utility bills. “So in today's electricity market, a regulated utility is likely your best bet. If you're considering an electricity offer, ask the right questions and read the fine print before signing up. Please be careful to read carefully.”
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What is energy freedom? What energy plans are available in Illinois and how can I find the best rate? Keep reading to learn more.
Buy electricity in Illinois
The table below shows comparable current prices (standard rates available from energy companies) and the price range of options available through Choose Energy, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET.
We'll help you find the best electricity rates in your area
All prices shown are as of February 3 for zip codes 60002 (ComEd) and 60911 (Ameren). CNET staff updates these prices regularly, and they may have changed since the last update. For the latest rate information in your area, please enter your zip code at chooseenergy.com. These charges represent supply charges only and are not utility charges or taxes.
electricity rates in illinois
|Compare electricity company prices (cents per kWh)
|Prices you compare are valid during the period
|Select an energy price option (cents per kWh)
|May 31, 2024
|8.99 – 11.29
|May 31, 2024
|7.09 – 8.89
Illinois Deregulation: What Does It Mean?
Illinois passed an energy liberalization bill in 1999 that went into effect for all energy customers in the state by 2002. Illinois is one of her 29 states where people can choose their energy provider. What does that mean? A homeowner obtains electricity through her network of three entities: transmission lines that carry the electricity, and transmission lines that supply the electricity. A public utility that distributes electricity to homes. Suppliers that generate electricity by burning fossil fuels or by solar, wind, hydro, or nuclear power. Since people are typically locked into utilities based on location, deregulation allows for the final piece of choice: suppliers.
“Regardless of where customers get their power from, they will always pay their local utility company for the service of transporting power from the larger grid to their homes,” Hoefke said. he said. “It's on the generation side that you can buy. You can lock in different rates and different contracts: three-month rates, six-month rates, 12-month rates, 24-month rates.”
Illinois Power Companies and Power Companies
Illinois is served by three major investor-owned electric utilities (the state also has smaller municipal utilities).
- ComEd of Northern Illinois.
- Ameren of south central Illinois.
- MidAmerican is a small electric utility company located in western Illinois.
Residents will use these utilities depending on where they live, but they can choose their energy supplier, potentially saving money on their utility bills.
What types of power plans are offered in Illinois?
There are three main types of electricity plans in Illinois.
continue using the utility
just because you can Choosing a Supplier Doesn't Mean You have That you should, or even that you should.
“If you just stick with your local utility company, they'll give you a bill for your electricity,” Hoefke said. “Just go to your local utility company, like his ComEd in Northern Illinois, and they'll supply, transmit, and distribute the power all together. That's the easiest option.”
Look for a supplier
While you are tied to your local power company and must pay its distribution charges, you may be able to save money by taking advantage of the state's energy provider market. This allows you to choose not only the price of your electricity, but also the contract terms (ranging from 3 to 24 months) and the source of electricity (such as nuclear or hydropower).
Take advantage of hourly market prices
Similar to the second option above, users will still be tied to their local utility and pay network fees. But if you want to track your energy usage at specific points in the day, it might make sense to take advantage of real-time markets. Electricity costs are higher during peak hours, such as before going to work or returning home in the morning, than at night when people are asleep.
“We have a lot of nuclear power plants in northern Illinois. We can't turn them down, so our nighttime electricity bills are very low,” Hoefke said. “People who want to take advantage of this hourly energy pricing model are people who work outside the home and don't use much electricity during the day, but are home at night.”
How do I find the cheapest electricity rates in Illinois?
If you want to save money on your energy bills by choosing an energy supplier, it takes a little work. Illinois has a website with information about the switch and a marketplace of suppliers serving customers of various electric utilities. The Citizens Utility Board has resources to help people with their utility bills.
“It all comes down to the homeowner doing their homework and how locked in their pricing is,” Hoefke said. “If you make a short-term purchase for three months, six months, etc., you have to go shopping again. I don't want to shop every three months. After that, I only go shopping once or twice a year or once every other year. ”
There is also the question of whether to have a fixed or variable interest rate. “Fixed rates are easier to manage because it doesn't matter when you use the electricity,” Hoefke says. “However, if you are a savvy energy user and are willing to change some of your behaviors and/or are not at home during peak hours of the day, a variable rate may be an advantage. there is.”
What should I look for when choosing an electricity plan in Illinois?
There are several important considerations when choosing an electrical plan. The most important thing is the rate, or the price per kilowatt-hour that your utility company charges you. But there are other nuances to consider. Some suppliers may offer higher rates for the first month and then increase them or switch to variable rates. We may charge additional monthly fees in addition to the Fees. The supplier may also bind you for a period ranging from a few months to two years. Watch out for tricks and hidden fees (such as low usage), and look for customer reviews and testimonials. As mentioned above, the Citizens Utility Board has resources that can help you pay your utility bills.
How to switch in Illinois
Switching your energy supplier is relatively easy. You can contact the supplier online or by phone using your utility account number and proof of residence, and they should handle the rest. Please note the early termination terms. As of 2020, Illinois' HEAT law prohibits supplier exit fees.
Illinois Power Frequently Asked Questions