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Get ready for more cold

Temperatures are expected to drop AGAIN this week. (Anyone else reminded of the movie Groundhog Day?)  Wednesday might see lows between 0 and -10 degrees with a wind chill of -20 degrees to -30 degrees! The cold spike is expected to have some nasty consequences for your gas bill. Nicor’s…...

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State of high-speed Internet in the U.S.: Maddening, isn’t it?

This chart, from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), makes painfully clear what we’ve been hearing for so long: Consumers in the United States pay more for slower broadband. It sparked some strong opinions on CUB’s Facebook page. “Wow, that makes me sick,” said one CUB fan. So…...

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Gas Rates Skyrocket

The idea behind “Choices for You”—the program allowing Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas customers to choose an alternative company to supply their natural gas–is that you can shop around for the best gas price. But the history of gas choice in northern Illinois has been riddled with bad deals and…...

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Energy Reports: Helpful or Headache?

Not too long ago, CUB began noticing an uptick in complaints about periodic “energy reports” being sent to consumers from the utility companies.  The reports give consumers information about their home’s natural gas and electricity usage, include tips on making homes energy efficient, and compare energy usage to neighbors. While the…...

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CUB to FERC: What’s behind the January energy price spike?

Energy prices skyrocketed in January, and CUB suspects the reason might be more than just the record-breaking cold. Recently, we joined with consumer advocates from 10 other states in a letter urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to examine the root causes behind the price spike. “No doubt, January’s ‘polar…...

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The $42.5 billion Time Warner deal: Can Comcast pass the FCC test?

As Comcast today announced plans to gobble up Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion, one of its favorite talking points was that the deal won’t hurt competition because the companies’ geographic markets don’t overlap. OK, but that’s indicative of the big problem. The cable/Internet market already is plagued by consolidation…...

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Hands Off My Internet!

Net neutrality—the principal that protects our right to a free and open Internet—could go the way of the dinosaur, thanks to a recent court decision. We need your help to fix it, before the Internet is open to the highest bidder! Net neutrality means that Internet Service Providers like AT&T, Comcast…...

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The ups and downs of Ameren rates, 2014

Ameren customers received a $45 million electric rate cut, as they were hit with a $32 million natural gas rate hike. So how does that affect 2014 bills? Both changes—ordered by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) late last year—impact the delivery part of our bills. That’s what you pay Ameren…...

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5 Things You Need to Know About Your New Electric Meter

ComEd is launching $2.6 billion in upgrades to the power grid over the next decade, and that includes installing new “digital” electric meters, also called “smart meters,” at every home in its territory.  Here’s what you need to know: No. 1: What is a smart meter?  The technology behind our…...

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Take CUB’s Survey: Have you received a utility energy report?

Imagine this: You get a letter from your electric or gas utility that has colorful bar graphs and says something like this, “You used 21% more natural gas than your neighbors. That cost you about $102 extra.” Or maybe, your electricity/gas usage compares favorably to your neighbors and your  energy…...

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