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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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As solar funding dries up, Illinois renewables need CEJA

Despite rapid solar adoption after Illinois passed strong energy legislation in 2016, the state is fast-approaching a solar cliff–the funding that helps propel the state’s solar industry is running out. But the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) could prevent the state’s clean energy progress from toppling over the edge. Specifically,…...

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‘Protection’ during the pandemic? Big water company pitches peace of mind—but you should think twice

Tucked away in a news release about a major water company’s COVID-19-related donations was a pitch for insurance plans that cover utility-related home repairs. While the company promises “the unexpected—protected,” such offers often end up costing customers more than they’re worth.  American Water is the parent company of Illinois American,…...

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ComEd’s Hourly Pricing: How to calculate the customer capacity charge

Want to know your capacity charge before signing up for ComEd’s Hourly Pricing program? Here’s how to calculate it: 1. Go to this page:  https://secure.comed.com/MyAccount/MyService/Pages/UsageDataTool.aspx, choose “View Summary Data Online,” and “Add” the individual’s ComEd account number. 2. Click “View Usage Data” and it’ll take you to a results screen showing vital…...

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Historic consumer protections: Urge the ICC to approve this COVID-19 relief plan

Illinois regulators this week will consider some of the strongest COVID-19 utility consumer protections in the country. Developed through weeks of discussion among consumer advocates and major utilities, this plan could serve as a national model to help utility customers struggling to pay their bills during the economic crisis. But…...

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Consumer advocates fight for extended COVID-19 protections for utility customers

After a historic agreement between consumer advocates and Illinois’ major utilities, state regulators are now considering the most comprehensive COVID-19 utility relief measures in the country. This plan could serve as a national model for helping utility customers struggling to pay their bills during the worst economic crisis since the…...

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They’re getting richer: the ongoing battle against high utility bills

Crain’s Chicago Business reports that in the first quarter of the year—a relatively warm winter—Peoples Gas still made a record $97.6 million. That’s after two straight years of record annual profits. “It wasn’t long ago when Peoples’ profit over an entire year wouldn’t approach the nearly $100 million it collected…...

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Natural gas rates go up as the economy plummets, unemployment skyrockets

Most natural gas utilities have increased their prices for June, just as we face an economic crisis. These rising prices are a change in the downward trend CUB had observed in gas prices over the last several months. Thankfully, rates are still relatively low and usage tends to be lower in…...

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