If you are ComEd customer, you soon will experience a savings on your electric bill.
Late last month, the City of Chicago sent a letter about “municipal electric aggregation” to approximately 2.5 million ComEd customers. Much like Costco can sell products at a cheaper price because it buys in bulk from suppliers, Illinois law allows cities to use the group purchasing power of their residents and small businesses to negotiate lower prices on electricity bills. Cities can also use this bargaining power to buy power from cleaner energy sources.
Over 200 Illinois communities have already used aggregation to capture savings for residents and small businesses.
In last November’s election, Chicago voters approved a referendum authorizing the City to seek lower electricity rates for residential and small business ratepayers. After receiving prices and service qualifications from retail electric suppliers, the City negotiated an agreement with Integrys Energy Services, Inc., that will result in an 11 percent savings for ComEd ratepayers over the first 15 months of the contract. For the average single family homeowner, this means savings from $135 to $165.
To remain in the program and receive these savings, you do not need to take any action. However, if you wish to opt-out of the program, either return the postcard provided in the letter sent to your address, call the Integrys 24/7 call center at 1-888-802-2885 or go to www.integrysenergy.com/il-chicago. You may opt out of the program at any time at no cost.
ComEd will still be responsible for delivering electricity, issuing monthly bills, maintaining electricity lines and meters, responding to outages, and offering bill payment options such budget billing and automatic payment. In addition, low income assistance programs–such as LIHEAP and PIPP–will not be affected.
No one from the City’s program will ever come to anyone’s door or call anyone to ask them to switch to a new supplier. Anyone who comes to your door or calls asking you to switch is not with the City’s program.
If you participate in ComEd’s real-time pricing program or receive your electricity from an alternative supplier, you will not be automatically enrolled in the City’s program, but you can opt into the program at any time.
For a series of Frequently Asked Questions about the program, CLICK HERE.
This agreement with Integrys Energy also will benefit our health and the environment, as Integrys agreed to buy the power from non-coal sources only. Coal-fired power plants are one of the biggest contributing factors to respiratory diseases and global climate change.
However, Integrys does buy much of its power from nuclear power and natural gas sources. If buying your electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, is important to you, a number of electricity providers offer you packages that allow you to buy some or all your power from green sources.
One such power company–North American Power–has partnered with Here Comes the Sun, a Rogers Park group that promotes cancer awareness. Here Comes the Sun receives a share of the proceeds from any contract North American Power enters into through its local contact, Jason Barlow. For more information, contact Jason firstname.lastname@example.org.
North American Power is not the only company that offers green power. For a list of some of the other “green power” companies in Illinois, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Green Power Network website at:
Though renewable power is quickly becoming more cost-competitive, please note that it will cost you more to buy some or all your power from renewable sources.