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Which company grinds your gears?

Over 30 years of service, we have seen all sorts of utility mischief: sky-high bills, unresponsive customer service, confusing rates. And in a year of astronomical prices and frequent rate-hike requests, we know there’s still plenty to complain about. So here’s your chance to air it out: In honor of CUB’s 30th anniversary, we’re…...

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3 things that stink about cellphones

A recent CUB Facebook poll asked people what was most annoying about their cellphones. Guess what aggravation took top honors? 1)      High Bills: According to CTIA data, consumers with smartphones–such as an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry–use an average of about 800 MB of data per month. That’s far less than the standard 2…...

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Now we’ve seen everything…

At CUB, we’re a pretty thrifty bunch– after all, we spend our days helping consumers shave money off their bills–but even we think this might be going a little far: Eligo Energy, an alternative electric supplier serving the Chicagoland area, is offering a Groupon for a $50 discount on electricity. We’ve heard of alternative electric suppliers mailing, phoning…...

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The ‘un-carrier’ under fire over the cellphone industry’s uncomfortable truth

A federal lawsuit accusing T-Mobile of profiting off a scam called “cramming” shines a spotlight on an uncomfortable truth in the cellphone industry: Wireless companies can make lots of money off of so-called third-party charges–even when they’re fraudulent. Cramming is when third-party companies throw charges on your bill for services you didn’t authorize.…...

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Need an extra $100?

After this year’s never-ending winter, we are definitely ready for festivals, fireworks and fun this July 4th.  Bring on the sunny weather! But these hot summer days don’t just cause the mercury to rise–they can make electricity bills jump, too.  And who can enjoy a good barbecue when you’re worried about power…...

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Making history: CUB opens new office in Hillsboro as smart grid improvements begin

As Illinois embarks on historic changes that will impact electric customers, the Decatur Herald & Review reports that CUB is making history of its own, opening the consumer group’s first office in Central Illinois. Outreach Coordinator Rajiv Ravulapati and Environmental Outreach Coordinator Scott Allen will work out of the new office…...

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Free tool helps Chicagoans make big decision: Stay with Integrys or go back to ComEd

CUB and the City of Chicago today launched a free tool to help Chicagoans decide whether they should stick with the City’s power deal with Integrys Energy Services, or switch back to ComEd. Try the free tool at: www.ChicagoPowerCalculator.com. Chicagoans might be surprised when they open their June power bills. They’ll…...

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How the Wisconsin Energy-Integrys deal benefits Chicago customers: (crickets)

The headline in Crain’s Chicago Business says it all: What’s the sale of Integrys do for Chicago? Not much Yesterday, Wisconsin Energy announced that it was buying Integrys, the parent company of Chicago-area utilities Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, in a $9.1 billion deal. But for a company pulling…...

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Big deal! Peoples/North Shore parent to be gobbled up for $9 billion

Wisconsin Energy Corp announced this morning that it plans to purchase Integrys Energy Group, Inc.– parent company to Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas– for $9.1 billion.  The combined company will serve 4.3 million electric and gas customers across Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. The deal is set to close in…...

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Municipal aggregation ain’t what it used to be

Want to see just how drastically Illinois’ electric market has changed? Take a look at what’s happening to “municipal aggregation.” Aggregation is where local leaders negotiate power prices with alternative suppliers on behalf of their residents. A few years ago, it was an almost-universally great idea for communities. In fact, in…...

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