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Alternative suppliers

Ballooning bills, silent customer service: CUB joins ICC probe into three alternative suppliers

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) is investigating three alternative suppliers–Realgy, Liberty Power and Switch Energy–after receiving hundreds of complaints from consumers about  marketing techniques, unresponsive call centers and an unusual Realgy fee that has caused bills to skyrocket overnight. CUB’s legal team is intervening in the cases. These companies are…...

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November natural gas rates trending up

November gas prices are more expensive this month than last, with the exception of Nicor Gas.  The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has anticipated an uptick. Last month, the organization predicted that natural gas bills across the Midwest could be about 8 percent higher than last winter. Over the winter season,…...

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Breaking News: Consumer Victory at the ICC!

Victory for Consumers! The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) voted 3-2 on Thursday against lifting a ban on door-to-door marketing by alternative energy suppliers during the pandemic. The ICC was considering a proposal by the commission’s staff that was supported by alternative energy suppliers. CUB argued that door-to-door marketing was needlessly…...

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CUB releases new infographics, including COVID-19 alert

Below is our gallery of new infographics, including an important update on utility consumer protections during the COVID-19 crisis. CUB thanks the Heising-Simons Foundation for a generous grant that helped us create this series of infographics about important consumer issues. Important utility customer protections during the COVID-19 Crisis Are you…...

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Alt. gas suppliers on the rise, and they appear to be violating the HEAT Act

Although many alternative gas suppliers peddle bad deals, their numbers were on the rise in 2019, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) reported in its annual assessment of natural gas competition. The report, compiled by the ICC’s Office of Retail Market Development, also revealed that a number of supplier offers as…...

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Beware High Bills! A Halloween Special

Although Halloween classics like Count Dracula, Freddie Krueger and Michael Meyers cause a fright, few things are scarier than paying high energy bills.  In honor of the spooky season, CUB staffer Cate York created a new video, “Beware High Bills: A Halloween Special.” It’s a fun, quick summary of the…...

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Consumer Alert: Could alt suppliers be knocking on your door again? 

Breaking News Update, Nov. 5:  Victory for Consumers! The Illinois Commerce Commission voted 3-2 today to keep the moratorium in place. Thank you to all the Illinoisans who used CUB’s Action Network to help send 1,000 messages to state regulators in favor of keeping the ban in place. Your activism makes…...

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CUB staffer secures $4,800 refund from alternative supplier

If you’ve ever called CUB, there’s a good chance you’ve spoken to Jantay Gray, the woman who often answers our Consumer Hotline (1-800-669-5556). Jan is one of many outstanding consumer advocates on staff. This year, Sandra Marcelin-Reme, CUB’s director of consumer advocacy, sent the staff an email that exclaimed “WAY…...

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He said I was a nice lady, at first…(my call with an electric supplier)

By Julie Soderna, General Counsel One night this summer, I got the call I was waiting for: my third telemarketing pitch from an alternative electric supplier in two weeks. It started out the same way as the other automated messages: “This is an apology call from your electric provider—you have…...

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Consumer losses from alternative electric suppliers exceed $1 billion

Illinois has reached a grim milestone in the history of electric competition in the state: Residential consumers have now lost more than $1 billion to alternative electric suppliers since 2015, according to a new report from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).  More than 1.67 million ratepayers are signed up with…...

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