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Utility Diaries: A Month of Bills in Urbana, Illinois

In Utility Diaries, we look at what different households across Illinois pay in a month for utility expenses.  Today’s household consists of two people in a rented house in Urbana.   Housing Background Location: Urbana, IL Household Size: 2 people Housing Type: House Rent or Own: Rent Square Footage: 1,215 Year…...

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New internet assistance program to discount service by $50 a month

The Federal Communications Commission is launching a new program to expand access to affordable internet service. The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program aims to connect eligible households to healthcare, school and job opportunities otherwise unavailable without internet access. (Read CUB’s fact sheet here.) Up to 42 million people in the United…...

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Natural gas prices continue their rise into May

Most major Illinois gas utilities are again increasing their prices, the lingering effects of extreme cold that hit the nation for a brief period over the winter and caused prices in Illinois to skyrocket.  A few utilities lowered prices, but most natural gas customers will see their rates go up.…...

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CUB’s to-do list: $414 million in rate-hike battles

With new ComEd and Ameren Illinois rate-hike requests on the table, CUB’s legal team is now challenging $414.1 million in higher rates before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). (Send a message urging the ICC to say NO to the electric rate hikes!) Here’s a summary of all our battles: ICC…...

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Energy assistance updates, tips to keep your utility service on during the pandemic

The pandemic has been so hard on Illinois utility customers that it’s gained national attention. An economist discovered that close to 1 percent of all residences in Illinois were cut off for nonpayment in October 2020, according to an in-depth report by the Washington Post. Steve Cicala, an economist at…...

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Washington Post: Nearly 1% of all Illinois residences were cut off for nonpayment in October 2020

In a special report from Peoria, Washington Post reporter Greg Jaffe uncovered grim statistics about shut-offs in that Central Illinois city.  It indicates, as one researcher said, that our social safety net is in “grave need of repair.” Jaffe reports: As the pandemic dragged on month after month, hundreds struggled…...

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Illinois consumers rally to pass CEJA: “A bill for Illinoisans historically and systematically shut out and forgotten”

Consumers from across the state gathered on Zoom and Facebook today for a virtual environmental justice lobby day in support of the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA), comprehensive energy legislation currently before the Illinois General Assembly. The second virtual lobby day, today’s event saw Illinois residents meeting with their legislators…...

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Ballooning bills, silent customer service: CUB joins ICC probe into three alternative suppliers

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) is investigating three alternative suppliers–Realgy, Liberty Power and Switch Energy–after receiving hundreds of complaints from consumers about  marketing techniques, unresponsive call centers and an unusual Realgy fee that has caused bills to skyrocket overnight. CUB’s legal team is intervening in the cases. These companies are…...

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BREAKING: Ameren asks for a $64 million electric rate hike

Ameren has filed a $64 million rate-hike request before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). Here’s the statement by CUB Executive Director David Kolata: This is an awful time for a rate hike, as Illinois families struggle to pay their utility bills amid the COVID-19 public health crisis. Our legal team…...

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BREAKING: CUB vows to fight ComEd’s $51 million rate-hike request

ComEd has announced it wants a $51 million rate hike.  Below is CUB’s statement from Executive Director David Kolata. ComEd’s $51 million rate-hike request is bad timing, as an unprecedented number of consumers struggle to pay their utility bills during the pandemic. Our legal team will study ComEd’s rate-hike filing…...

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