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Breaking: ComEd and Ameren have new power prices

As of Oct. 1, ComEd and Ameren Illinois are charging new electricity prices.

ComEd: 6.388¢/kilowatt-hour (kWh)

Ameren: 6.514¢/kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the first 800 kWh used; 4.776¢/kWh for usage over 800 kWh

Why is it important to know this? Because the prices above are what you compare to any alternative supplier offer that is pitched to you.

Lately, we’ve been hearing reports of increased marketing by alternative suppliers. In fact, North Aurora police report that residents have complained about rude and aggressive sales tactics.

Arm yourself with the facts, and follow these tips:

* Don’t give out your electric bill or account number unless you are sure you want to switch. If you do, an unethical marketer could use that information to switch you to an alternative supplier without your consent.

*Ask if the rate you are being offered is an introductory or promotional rate, and if so, when does that rate end and what will be the new rate.

*Ask if the rate you’re being offered has any fees tied to it—such as an exit fee, or a monthly fee that will inflate the per-kWh rate. Exit fees are capped at $50, and you can avoid getting slapped with one if you cancel a contract within 10 days once the supplier’s charges first appear on the bill.

Go to our ComEd and Ameren fact sheets on the new prices, and tell us that you want our poster, “Paying too much for power?” It could help you spot a bad deal on your bill.