Electric Competition: What Ameren Customers Should Know

What are My choices?

In Southern and Central Illinois, you can choose Ameren, the regulated utility, to supply you with power, or go with an alternative supplier chosen by you or your municipality. This guide covers individual electricity offers. Read CUB’s fact sheet for information on municipal aggregation.

Remember, even if you choose an alternative supplier, you’re simply buying electricity from that company. Ameren will still bill you to deliver the electricity to your home, and you’ll still call the utility in the event of a power outage.

Do I Get a Single Bill?

Most suppliers include their charges on your Ameren bill, but some send you their own bill. It’s a good detail to check.

Will Going with an Alternative Supplier Protect Me from Ameren Rate Hikes?

No, Ameren will still bill you to deliver the electricity to your home. Those delivery rates are what Ameren increases when it gets a rate hike before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).

What Happens When My Contract Ends?

When your contract is up (or you cancel), you are subject to a 12-month stay with Ameren, the utility, if you do not choose another supplier within two months. If you do switch, remember that the switching process can take up to two months.

How Do the Green Energy Options Work?

Some alternative suppliers offer green plans, which typically have a higher price than more standard offers. With green plans, the supplier pledges to buy “renewable energy certificates,” or RECs, from a company that produces power from renewable sources, such as wind. Basically, the company delivers an amount of renewable energy to somewhere in the electricity system that is equal to the amount you consume. So remember, enrolling in a green energy plan does not mean that the actual power you use is coming from renewable sources.

RECs are a legitimate option for consumers, but there are other ways to help the environment without paying extra-such as practicing energy efficieny at home. Also, CUB sees Illinois’ renewable portfolio standard, requiring utilities to use a certain percentage of renewable energy, as a much more effective way to make the electricity system cleaner and more stable.

What Else Can I Do To Cut My Electric Bill and Make My Home More Efficient?

Energy efficiency is key to keeping power bills low in the long term. Learn about energy efficiency rebates and programs available to help Ameren customers reduce their electric and natural gas bills.

What Details Should I Look For in the Fine Print?

Find out:

  1. If the price is an introductory rate that changes in a month or two.
  2. If the company charges an exit fee for getting out of the deal before the term is up.
  3. If the company charges a monthly fee that will inflate its advertised price.
  4. If a contract clause allows the company to get out of the rate it has promised.
  5. If the company charges a deposit.
  6. If you’re eligible to sign up for the company’s offer. One company, for example, did not allow LIHEAP customers and those on deferred payment plans to take advantage of its offers. Warning: Customers using electricity as their primary source of heat as well as customers on Ameren’s Power Smart Pricing pay a special rate for power. Verify if you’re on a special utility rate, so you can do an apples-to-apples comparison with the rate an alternative supplier is offering.

What are the Offers?

Compare an alternative supplier’s price to these Ameren prices.

Zones 1, 2, 3:
6.514 cents per kWh for the first 800 kWh and 4.776 cents per kWh for usage above 800 kWh (Oct. 2016 – May 2017)

This is a snapshot of plans. The rates and details of offers can change. Beware that plans may change drastically after the initial term. Rates only reflect the price of the power itself. The Ameren price includes the “Electricity Supply Charge,” “Transmission Services Charge” and “Supply Cost Adjustment,” all under the “Supply” section of Ameren bills. The Purchased Electricity Adjustment (PEA), which changes monthly and can be a credit or a debit, is not included in Ameren’s price to compare.

CompanyRate (¢/kWh)Exit FeeTerm
AEP Energy
1-877-648-1927
5.85 fixedNone, only for new customersFixed through
December 2017
AEP Energy
1-877-648-1927
5.79 fixedNone, only for new customers6 months
AEP Energy
1-877-648-1927
5.95 fixedNone, only for new customers12 months
AEP Energy
1-877-648-1927
6.59 fixedNone, only for new customers24 months
AEP Energy
1-877-648-1927
6.25 fixed*None, only for new customers12 months
Agera Energy
1-844-692-4372
10.359 fixed$50 exit fee12 months
Agera Energy
1-844-692-4372
10.352 fixed$50 exit fee24 months
Ambit Zone 1, 2, 3
1-877-282-6248
5.95 fixedNone12 months
Ambit Zone 1, 2, 3
1-877-282-6248
7.95 fixed*None12 months
Ambit Zone 1, 2, 3
1-877-282-6248
9.26 variable (new customer rate)NoneMonthly
Ambit Zone 1, 2, 3
1-877-282-6248
11.26 variable* (new customer rate)NoneMonthly
Clearview Energy
1-888-257-8439
5.09 fixed*$50 cancellation fee6 months
Clearview Energy
1-888-257-8439
6.29 fixed*$50 cancellation fee12 months
Comcast Energy Rewards (a brand of Crius Energy)
1-844-684-5506
7.84 fixedNone12 months
Comcast Energy Rewards (a brand of Crius Energy)
1-844-684-5506
7.49 variableNoneMonthly
Constellation
1-866-577-4700
6.29 fixed$50 exit fee 12 months
Constellation
1-866-577-4700
6.59 fixed*$50 exit fee 12 months
Constellation
1-866-577-4700
6.49 fixed$50 exit fee 18 months
Direct Energy
1-866-910-3401
6.99 fixed (6.89 for military)None12 months
Direct Energy
1-866-910-3401
7.19 fixed (7.09 for military)None18 months
Direct Energy
1-866-910-3401
8.69 fixed, plus Nest Thermostat$200 Cancellation Fee27 months
Homefield Energy
1-866-694-1266
5.829 fixedNone12 months
Homefield Energy
1-866-694-1266
5.837 fixedNone24 months
Homefield Energy
1-866-694-1266
6.01 fixed*None12 months
Homefield Energy
1-866-694-1266
6.029 fixed*None24 months
Illinois Gas & Electric
1-866-705-7291
7.757 fixed$50 exit fee 12 months
Illinois Gas & Electric
1-866-705-7291
6.39 variableNoneMonthly
MidAmerican Energy
1-800-432-8574
6.29 fixedNoneMay 2018
Nordic Energy Services
1-877-808-1022
3.50 variable (1 month introductory offer)NoneMonthly
PALMco
1-877-726-5862
5.614 variable (first 2 months only)NoneMonthly
Public Power
1-888-354-4415
7.29 fixed$50 exit fee12 months
Public Power
1-888-354-4415
7.29 fixed$50 exit fee24 months
Realgy Energy Services
1-877-300-6747
5.344 variable$3.75 monthly fee, $50 exit fee24 months
Tara Energy
1-855-275-8272
7.99 fixed$50 exit fee24 months
Tara Energy
1-855-275-8272
7.69 fixed$50 exit fee24 months
Viridian
1-866-663-2508
5.81 fixed*$50 exit fee21 months
Viridian
1-866-663-2508
7.43 fixed*$50 exit fee12 months
Viridian
1-866-663-2508
8.26 fixed*$50 exit fee36 months
Viridian
1-866-663-2508
9.49 variable*NoneMonthly
Viridian
1-866-663-2508
9.39 variable*NoneMonthly
Xoom Energy
1-888-997-8979
6.39 variable (3 months only)NoneMonthly
Xoom Energy
1-888-997-8979
6.99 fixed$50 exit fee12 months
Xoom Energy
1-888-997-8979
7.39 fixed$50 exit fee12 months
Xoom Energy
1-888-997-8979
7.09 fixed*$50 exit fee12 months
Note: Prices as of February 15, 2017.