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Breaking: Major utilities extend moratorium on shut-offs

Major Illinois utilities have extended the moratorium on shut-offs for another month, until around September, according to a statement from state regulators. Ameren Illinois, Aqua Illinois, Consumer Gas, ComEd, Illinois American Water, Liberty, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas and Utility Services of Illinois are among the utilities with extended moratoriums…...

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CUB Analysis: Put low-income communities at heart of state EV policy

With the right electric vehicle (EV) policies, Illinois can deliver cleaner air, low-cost transportation options and lower energy costs for all consumers, particularly in neighborhoods most burdened by pollution, poverty and high power bills, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) argues in a new analysis released Wednesday.  At a time when…...

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Energy rip-offs have hit low-income communities hard, but here’s another reason the HEAT Act gives us hope

At CUB, we get reports that customers enrolled with alternative suppliers have been charged double or triple (or worse) for their electricity—and marketers have long preyed on the neighborhoods that can least afford to pay high power bills.   That’s yet another reason we’re dedicated to making sure a new reform…...

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Environmental justice communities could see pollution problems addressed with CEJA

All people are entitled to live in clean communities free from health hazards, but not everyone enjoys this guarantee. “Environmental Justice” — or EJ — communities are regularly exposed to harmful pollution, but the Clean Energy Jobs Act aims to change that by helping the state make an equitable transition…...

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New Data: Private water companies spent $88.5 M on acquisitions—ratepayers on the hook

Illinois American Water and Aqua Illinois, the state’s two biggest for-profit water companies, have purchased 14 municipal water/wastewater systems since the fall of 2018, when state legislation was passed that allows the companies to foist the $88.5 million price tag onto their customers, according to a CUB review. CUB has…...

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CUB’s online service captures “remarkable savings” for CUB member

CUB staffers have been working from home for a few months now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped our outreach team from connecting with consumers and helping them save money on their bills. CUB member Don will save about $50 a month after he submitted his gas…...

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Real-Time Pricing: Another way to save–just ask CUB staffers

Most people pay an electricity rate that only changes a few times a year, but real-time pricing offers a different way to pay for electricity. Instead of charging a standard price per kilowatt-hour, the utility charges program participants a supply rate that changes each hour.  ComEd offers real-time pricing through…...

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Who likes higher water bills? (Take action to oppose S 2596)

Water privatization can lead to higher bills and worsening water quality. It raises consumer costs by almost 60 percent and results in the loss of 1 in 3 water jobs, according to Food and Water Watch. Those higher expenses have a disproportionately negative impact on poorer communities and communities of color…...

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Hey Illinois, beware of rip-offs

Everybody is worrying about costs these days—I know we talk to a lot of concerned consumers. That’s why CUB is issuing this warning. If you get pitched any of these offers, be careful! Maintenance plans. They peddle peace of mind (“the unexpected—protected,” says one ad). But maintenance plans offered to utility…...

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Need help affording your utilities? You may qualify for bill assistance

We talk to utility customers every day at CUB, so we know people are hurting and worried about paying their utility bills. If you cannot afford your utilities, you may be eligible for financial assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program–or LIHEAP. LIHEAP helps low-income consumers pay their…...

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