Electric Competition: What Ameren customers should know
(For a pdf version, click here)
What are my choices?
In Southern and Central Illinois, you can choose Ameren, the regulated utility, to supply you with power, or go with an alternative supplier chosen by you or your municipality. This guide covers individual electricity offers. Read CUB's fact sheet for information on municipal aggregation.

Remember, even if you choose an alternative supplier, you're simply buying electricity from that company. Ameren will still bill you to deliver the electricity to your home, and you'll still call the utility in the event of a power outage.
Do I get a single bill?
Most suppliers include their charges on your Ameren bill, but some send you their own bill. It's a good detail to check.
Will going with an alternative supplier protect me from Ameren rate hikes?
No, Ameren will still bill you to deliver the electricity to your home. Those delivery rates are what Ameren increases when it gets a rate hike before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). (Help CUB battle rate hikes!)
What happens when my contract ends?
When your contract is up (or you cancel), you are subject to a 12-month stay with Ameren, the utility, if you do not choose another supplier within two months. If you do switch, remember that the switching process can take up to two months. Some alternative suppliers offer green plans, which typically have a higher price than more standard offers. With green plans, the supplier pledges to buy "renewable energy certificates," or RECs, from a company that produces power from renewable sources, such as wind. Basically, the company delivers an amount of renewable energy to somewhere in the electricity system that is equal to the amount you consume. So remember, enrolling in a green energy plan does not mean that the actual power you use is coming from renewable sources.

RECs are a legitimate option for consumers, but there are other ways to help the environment without paying extra-such as practicing energy efficieny at home. Also, CUB sees Illinois’ renewable portfolio standard, requiring utilities to use a certain percentage of renewable energy, as a much more effective way to make the electricity system cleaner and more stable.
What else can I do to cut my electric bill and make my home more efficient?
Energy efficiency is key to keeping power bills low in the long term. Learn about energy efficiency rebates and programs available to help Ameren customers reduce their electric and natural gas bills.
What details should I look for in the fine print?
Find out:

1. If the price is an introductory rate that changes in a month or two.
2. If the company charges an exit fee for getting out of the deal before the term is up.
3. If the company charges a monthly fee that will inflate its advertised price.
4. If a contract clause allows the company to get out of the rate it has promised.
5. If the company charges a deposit.
6. If you're eligible to sign up for the company's offer. One company, for example, did not allow LIHEAP customers and those on deferred payment plans to take advantage of its offers. Warning: Customers using electricity as their primary source of heat as well as customers on Ameren's Power Smart Pricing pay a special rate for power. Verify if you’re on a special utility rate, so you can do an apples-to-apples comparison with the rate an alternative supplier is offering.
What are the offers?
Compare an alternative supplier's price to these Ameren prices, depending on your zone.

Zone 1 (formerly AmerenCIPS)
6.78 cents per kWh, 0-800 kWh (January 2016-May 2016)

4.683 cents per kWh, over 800 kWh (January2016-May 2016)

Zone 2 (formerly AmerenCILCO)
6.717 cents per kWh, 0-800 kWh (January 2016-May 2016)

4.62 cents per kWh, over 800 kWh (January 2016-May 2016)

Zone 3 (formerly AmerenIP)
6.772 cents per kWh, 0-800 kWh (January 2016-May 2016)

4.675 cents per kWh, over 800 kWh (January 2016-May 2016)

*This is a snapshot of plans. The rates and details of offers can change. Beware that plans may change drastically after the initial term. Rates only reflect the price of the power itself. The Ameren price includes the "Electricity Supply Charge," "Transmission Services Charge" and "Supply Cost Adjustment," all under the "Supply" section of Ameren bills. The Purchased Electricity Adjustment (PEA), which changes monthly and can be a credit or a debit, is not included in Ameren’s price to compare.
Alternative Electric Supplier Offers
Company
Rate (¢/kWh)
Exit Fee
Term
AEP Energy
1-877-648-1927
5.65 fixed
No exit fee w/ web enrollment)
12 months
AEP Energy
1-877-648-1927
5.95 fixed
No exit fee w/ web enrollment
24 months
AEP Energy
1-877-648-1927
6.25 fixed*
No exit fee w/ web enrollment
24 months
Ambit Zone 1, 2, 3
1-877-282-6248
5.66 fixed
None
12 months
Ambit Zone 1, 2, 3
1-877-282-6248
7.66 fixed*
None
12 months
Ambit Zone 1, 2, 3
1-877-282-6248
9.26 variable (new customer rate)
None
monthly
Ambit Zone 1, 2, 3
1-877-282-6248
11.26 variable* (new customer rate)
None
monthly
Clearview Energy
1-888-257-8439
8.49 fixed*
$150 cancellation fee
12 months
Comcast Energy Rewards (a brand of Crius Energy)
1-844-684-5506
6.44 variable
None
12 months
Constellation
1-866-577-4700
6.19 fixed
$50 exit fee
12 months
Constellation
1-866-577-4700
5.99 fixed
$50 exit fee
18 months
Direct Energy
1-866-910-3401
5.99 fixed
None
6 months
Direct Energy
1-866-910-3401
5.89 fixed (5.79 for military)
None
12 months
Direct Energy
1-866-910-3401
5.99 fixed (5.89 for military)
None
18 months
Direct Energy
1-866-910-3401
6.99 fixed, plus Nest Thermostat
$200 Cancellation Fee
24 months
Direct Energy
1-866-910-3401
6.19 fixed, plus Nest Thermostat
$200 Cancellation Fee
36 months
Energy.ME
1-855-243-7270
6.239 fixed
None
6 months
Energy.ME
1-855-243-7270
6.269 fixed
None
12 months
Energy.ME
1-855-243-7270
6.279 fixed
None
24 months
Homefield Energy
1-866-694-1266
6.435 fixed
None
12 months
Homefield Energy
1-866-694-1266
6.638 fixed
None
24 months
Homefield Energy
1-866-694-1266
6.530 fixed*
None
12 months
Homefield Energy
1-866-694-1266
6.478 fixed*
None
24 months
Illinois Gas & Electric
1-866-705-7291
7.572 fixed
$50 exit fee
12 months
Illinois Gas & Electric
1-866-705-7291
5.69 variable
None
Monthly
MidAmerican Energy
1-800-432-8574
5.97 fixed
None
May 2017
Nordic Energy Services
1-877-808-1022
Varies with custom pricing
No
Varies
PALMco
1-877 726-5862
5.11 variable (first 2 months only)
No
monthly
Public Power
1-888-354-4415
7.39 fixed
No
12 months
Public Power
1-888-354-4415
7.49 fixed
No
24 months
Realgy Energy Services
1-877-300-6747
5.53 variable
$3.75 monthly fee, $50 exit fee
24 months
Tara Energy
1-855-275-8272
8.19 fixed*(5% discount off utility price for first month)
$50 exit fee
24 months
Viridian (a brand of Crius Energy)
1-866-663-2508
8.79 variable*
None
monthly
Viridian
1-866-663-2508
9.49 variable*
None
monthly
Viridian
1-866-663-2508
8.79 fixed*
$150 exit fee
36 months
Viridian
1-866-663-2508
6.44 variable*
$50 exit fee
12 months
Xoom Energy
1-888-997-8979
6.59 variable (3 months only)
None
monthly
Xoom Energy
1-888-997-8979
7.19 fixed*
$50 exit fee
6 months
Xoom Energy
1-888-997-8979
6.69 fixed
$50 exit fee
6 months
Note: Prices as of February 3, 2016.
Shop & Contribute