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Summer tips on staying cool and safe, without breaking the bank

Summer weather is upon us. Heating and cooling costs account for 50 percent of a home’s energy bills, according to the Department of Energy.  Stay safe, cool and energy efficient. Be safe. Raising your thermostat by a few degrees and using a ceiling fan can lower air conditioning costs over…...

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New power prices for June 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021

As of June 1, ComEd and Ameren are charging new prices for electricity. It’s important that you know the price for electricity to protect yourself from bad deals being peddled by alternative power suppliers. Illinois consumers have lost more than $1 billion to these suppliers since 2015. Under these market…...

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June natural gas prices signal three months of increases

Most major Illinois gas utilities are again increasing their prices, the aftershock of the extreme cold that hit the nation back in February. Even though temperatures are now warming up and consumers are using less natural gas, it is still important to factor these high prices into your usage. A…...

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Save on your summer bills with these thermostat tips

The return of summer heat prompts most homeowners to turn down their thermostat. But before you crank the AC, learning to set your thermostat effectively can be a game changer for you and your utility bills. In the summer, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting  your thermostat to 78°F…...

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Utility Diaries: A Month of Bills in Urbana, Illinois

In Utility Diaries, we look at what different households across Illinois pay in a month for utility expenses.  Today’s household consists of two people in a rented house in Urbana.   Housing Background Location: Urbana, IL Household Size: 2 people Housing Type: House Rent or Own: Rent Square Footage: 1,215 Year…...

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New internet assistance program to discount service by $50 a month

The Federal Communications Commission is launching a new program to expand access to affordable internet service. The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program aims to connect eligible households to healthcare, school and job opportunities otherwise unavailable without internet access. (Read CUB’s fact sheet here.) Up to 42 million people in the United…...

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Natural gas prices continue their rise into May

Most major Illinois gas utilities are again increasing their prices, the lingering effects of extreme cold that hit the nation for a brief period over the winter and caused prices in Illinois to skyrocket.  A few utilities lowered prices, but most natural gas customers will see their rates go up.…...

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CUB’s to-do list: $414 million in rate-hike battles

With new ComEd and Ameren Illinois rate-hike requests on the table, CUB’s legal team is now challenging $414.1 million in higher rates before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). (Send a message urging the ICC to say NO to the electric rate hikes!) Here’s a summary of all our battles: ICC…...

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Energy assistance updates, tips to keep your utility service on during the pandemic

The pandemic has been so hard on Illinois utility customers that it’s gained national attention. An economist discovered that close to 1 percent of all residences in Illinois were cut off for nonpayment in October 2020, according to an in-depth report by the Washington Post. Steve Cicala, an economist at…...

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Washington Post: Nearly 1% of all Illinois residences were cut off for nonpayment in October 2020

In a special report from Peoria, Washington Post reporter Greg Jaffe uncovered grim statistics about shut-offs in that Central Illinois city.  It indicates, as one researcher said, that our social safety net is in “grave need of repair.” Jaffe reports: As the pandemic dragged on month after month, hundreds struggled…...

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