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Ameren customers: Is your community power deal still saving you money?

Ameren Illinois’ power price has dropped significantly, so if you’re with a community power deal, it’s possible that the utility’s supply price is beating it. Read these frequently asked questions.

What is Ameren’s power price over the next year?

Ameren Illinois’ price is 4.561 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) through September, and it will reportedly be about 4.83 cents per kWh from Oct. 1 through May 31, 2020.

What does this mean for my power bill?

It means that it’s likely that in the current market Ameren is your best bet for electricity supply. That includes alternative suppliers that market you door-to-door, over the phone and by mail, as well as community power deals.

What is a community power deal?

Community power deals, also called municipal aggregation, are when your local leaders negotiate with an alternative supplier to secure the lowest price possible for their residents. The idea behind municipal aggregation is that local leaders can use the collective buying power of a community’s residents to negotiate a good price. CUB thinks municipal aggregation has worked very well for Illinois consumers. In fact, it’s been a bright spot in the Illinois competitive market. But since Ameren Illinois’ supply rate has fallen, the utility’s price is beating the vast majority of community power deals. The good news is your municipality had the foresight to negotiate a contract that allowed you to exit with no termination fee.

Are all communities on a power deal?

No, but to see if your community is, you can check this website managed by the state. Just search for your community and see the basic details of the deal, including what rate you’re paying. The way municipal aggregation works is that all residents are signed up for the alternative supplier rate—unless you opt out of the program.

How do I know what rate I’m paying?

You can check this website managed by the state. You can also look on the supply section of your Ameren Illinois bill.

NOTE: Remember, even if you’re on a community power deal, you will still get an Ameren bill. Ameren Illinois owns all the power lines, so it will still charge you to delivery electricity to your home. But if you’re on a community power deal, the supply section of your Ameren bill will list alternative supplier and the rate you’re paying.

How do I get out of a community power deal?

If you’re on a community power deal, the supply section of your Ameren Illinois bill will list the alternative supplier and its phone number. You can call that number to cancel. It may take up to two months to exit the offer. If you can’t find the company’s contact information, or you have any other questions, you can call the city or village hall.

Even if you’re not with a community power deal, an alternative supplier may have signed you up for an individual offer, through a door-to-door, telemarketing or mailed pitch. Illinois consumers have lost nearly $800 million to alternative electric suppliers since 2015, so beware of rip-offs. In this market, Ameren Illinois is likely your best bet.