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A funny thing happened to IL on the way to electric competition…

CUB made headlines this week, warning consumers about bad deals in the electric market. Now, we want to hear from you through our survey on Illinois electric offers.

A year ago, CUB released its first report on electric competition, praising the fact that Illinois consumers had saved up to $218 million. But we warned of a major market shift that would close the window on easy savings.

Our second report, released this week, shows how much the market has tightened in just 12 months. The era of easy savings is over when it comes to electric competition.

CUB’s Consumer Alert/Survey warns of bad deals in the electric market. Check out some of the complaints we’ve received this year:

• An Oak Park man who signed up with Nordic Energy Services said he was told the
chance of the rate going up was not likely—until it jumped from about a nickel per kilowatt-hour (kWh )to 21 cents per kWh.

• A Chicago man signed up with Viridian for a rate that stayed at 5.2 cents per kWh for
six months, but then changed to a rate that reached as high as 16 cents per kWh.

• A Melrose Park woman with Major Energy said her rate jumped from an average of 7
cents per kWh to as high as 35 cents per kWh.

• A Elmhurst woman noticed the name Illinois Gas and Electric on her bill, and told CUB
she didn’t know that she was with an alternative supplier. But she did notice her bill go up, with a rate of more than 10 cents per kWh.

• A Chicago man complained to CUB that he called Starion Energy trying to find out the
details of his contract “but was not able to speak with anyone.”

• A Maywood senior citizen told CUB that her electric bills have become astronomical. It
was determined that she was paying North American Power about 16 cents per kWh. “She says someone was going door to door inside her senior building about a year ago and told her she would save money,” the complaint said.

• A Chicago woman reported that her bill jumped from $150 to $500 in one month with
Hiko Energy. “Customer states that she has been trying to get in touch with Hiko but that she has not been able to speak with a live representative,” the complaint stated.

Of course, there are companies still offering savings in the market—particularly through “municipal aggregation” deals, in which a community negotiates a power price with an alternative supplier.

What has your experience been with an unregulated electricity supplier? Join more than 1,000 people who have taken CUB’s survey. You could win two light bulbs with a $200 money-saving potential!