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5 things you should know about Ameren’s $45 million electric rate cut

Good news just in time for the holidays! The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has ordered a $45 million rate cut for Ameren electricity customers. Key points about the decrease: When it takes effect: Jan. 1, 2014. What’s behind the change: It’s part of Ameren’s new “formula rate.” Back in 2011, the…...

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CUB’s holiday surprise!

Today, CUB launched a three-day Holiday Giveaway: three days, three prizes, three winners! Each day–Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday–CUB will give a money-saving gift to a randomly selected person who “likes” our Facebook page.  What are the prizes? That’s the surprise! Visit CUB’s festive Holiday Giveaway page to find out and…...

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AT&T’s big move could save customers $15/month

Following T-Mobile’s lead, AT&T over the weekend took a step to end what one writer called “the phone subsidy scam.” It’s a common practice to get a big discount on a new smartphone, and then pay off the balance of the device’s price tag through higher monthly fees over a…...

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Giving Tuesday: For CUB, ALL the battles are big

In honor of “Giving Tuesday”–the national day to support nonprofits–CUB has created this nifty Holiday eCard, with the CFL candle theme, pictured here. It allows people to honor friends and family this Holiday season–and support CUB’s fight for lower utility bills. That fight made headlines this year, as we helped to…...

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Cary man “tickled” to win CUB’s Energy Efficiency Action kit

Congratulations to Gary, of Cary, IL. He’s the new owner of four LEDs, a smart power strip, and a Kill A Watt as part of CUB’s Energy Efficiency Action Kit Giveaway. “I was tickled to win!” wrote Gary, who has used CUB to help cut his electric and phone costs…...

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FCC to consumers: Here, you take the keys!

It’s hard to believe that it’s actually illegal to take a smartphone to a new carrier, without getting your old carrier’s permission, even if you’ve already paid for the device in full. In fact, it’s so absurdly illegal that the maximum penalty is a $500,000 fine and up to five years…...

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A gut punch to cellphone scam artists

We hope this is the beginning of the end for the insidious “cramming” scam. The nation’s big four cellphone companies are voluntarily banning most premium texting services from their bills–charges that have been a major culprit in the scam. The agreement was pushed by 45 state attorneys general, including Illinois’…...

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New CUB Video: How a smart power strip takes the bite out of vampire power

Go into your TV room and take a look at your entertainment system, with its Octopus-like tangle of wires and digital displays. The DVD player and sound system may be silent, but they’re costing you money. In fact this “vampire power,” from electronics and appliances that are plugged in but…...

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Energy report: What’s your gas utility charging?

As we approach the heart of the winter heating season, here’s a summary of what Illinois’ major utilities are charging for natural gas right now, compared with last November: Ameren Zone 1 (Formerly AmerenCIPS): 53.482 cents per therm (November 2012: 64.76 cents per therm) Ameren Zone 2 (Formerly AmerenCILCO): 53.673 cents…...

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Five things to remember when buying a new cellphone

Two months ago I was debating whether or not to buy a new smartphone. My contract was over, my once powerful smartphone had lost its lightning speed, and I realized I was paying a premium monthly charge for a cellphone subsidy I had long since paid off. The internal debate raged…...

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