Power Source

Are you really saving money by unplugging your appliances? How do you make the switch to solar? Is your refrigerator running (efficiently?) CUB’s podcast, Power Source, answers all your burning utility questions. Listen here, on YouTube, SoundCloud, or subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app.

CUB’s 2021 Year in Review (December 2021)

Amid an ongoing pandemic and skyrocketing energy prices, CUB in 2021 sued a scandal-plagued utility, beat back millions of dollars in rate hikes and helped pass historic energy legislation. In this episode of Power Source, we’re giving you CUB’s Year in Review.

Illinois’ Winter Heating Crisis (November 2021)

Illinois consumers are facing the possibility of hundreds of dollars in higher heating bills this winter due to natural gas prices that have skyrocketed over the last seven months. Natural gas utilities have charged up to three times more than their 2020 prices, with some charging more than a dollar per therm. For this episode of Power Source, we’re talking about Illinois’ heating crisis.

The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (October 2021)

On September 15, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the most equitable clean energy jobs bill in the nation. It puts Illinois on a path to 100 percent clean energy while implementing utility ethics reforms and expanding energy efficiency to historic levels. With a nation-leading focus on equity, the bill aims to provide a spark to the economy by bringing thousands of clean energy jobs to communities that need it the most.

Alternative Suppliers: How to Avoid Ripoffs and Protect Your Bills (April 2021)

Illinois hit a grim milestone at the end of last year. Residential consumers have now lost more than $1 billion to alternative electric suppliers since 2015. More than 1.6 million consumers are signed up with alternative suppliers and are likely paying too much for their supply. In this episode of Power Source, Matt Harvey joins host Hannah Finnerty for a discussion of alternative suppliers. Matt is a program coordinator for CUB’s outreach department and has over 6 years of experience identifying alternative supplier ripoffs at utility bill clinics and helping consumers navigate the market.

Water Privatization: Big Customer Bills, Big Private Profits (March 2021)

Over the past several years, private water utilities Illinois American Water and Aqua Illinois have been buying up municipally-owned water and wastewater systems across the state. And in 2013, state legislators passed a law that allows these water utilities to pass acquisition costs—$220 million and counting—onto their customers. As it stands, municipality residents have no say if or when their water system is sold off to a private company.

Federal Stimulus Package is Good News for Illinois Utility Customers (January 2021)

Although headlines about the most recent federal stimulus package focused on financial assistance, the legislation also includes a fair number of utility-related provisions. The package makes solar power more affordable and accessible, it extends financial assistance for water bills, and it jumpstarts much-needed infrastructure upgrades and research. In this episode of Power Source, we’re talking about the utility provisions in the most recent federal stimulus package.

2020: CUB’s Year in Review (December 2020)

2020 certainly wasn’t the year we were expecting. We faced and continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic, racial and economic injustice and utility corruption. But CUB continued to work for Illinois consumers, despite the obstacles this year has thrown our way. In this episode of Power Source, our final episode for the year, we’re taking a look back at 2020.

Ready for Winter? Weatherize Your Home (November 2020)

As we begin to see the first hints of winter weather, start preparing your home for the colder months. In this episode of Power Source, Akosua Goosby with Elevate Energy gives consumers some easy tips and tricks to weatherize your home and cut your utility costs in the process.

Beware the Robocall Scam: The Election and COVID-19 (October 2020)

We all get robocalls, those prerecorded messages from computer-generated dialers. In recent months, CUB has been made aware of two new scams targeting voters and people seeking out COVID testing kits. In this episode, we’ll tell you about these new scams and offer some tips to help stop the pesky calls.

CUB Crash Course: The Clean Energy Jobs Act (September 2020)

Ever heard of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, or CEJA? It is comprehensive clean energy legislation that would secure savings for utility customers, ramp up renewable energy development in the state, and hold Illinois utilities accountable to their customers. In this episode of Power Source, host and CUB staffer Hannah Finnerty gives you a crash course in the clean energy legislation.

Fact or Fiction — Utility Myths, Debunked (August 2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dangers of fake news, but misinformation is no stranger to the utility world. CUB staffers in our consumer advocacy and outreach departments have heard it all. Everything from “electric meters cause cancer” to “clean energy is a hoax.” On this episode of Power Source, we are debunking utility myths.

Your Air Conditioner and Peak Demand (July 2020)

It’s a sweltering, 95-degree day in July. You’ve got the air conditioner blasting cold air around your home. But so does everyone else, and that increased–or peak–demand for electricity puts stress on the grid. In this episode of Power Source, CUB Executive Director David Kolata breaks down peak demand and explains the programs that incentivize off-peak usage.

Why Now is the Best Time to Go Solar (June 2020)

Thinking about going solar? For Illinois residents, now is the best time to do so. In this episode of Power Source, CUB’s Christina Uzzo lays out the different ways to go solar, the government and utility incentives for switching, and where to find good information about the renewable resource

Consumer Protections in the Age of Coronavirus (May 2020)

In this episode of Power Source, we answer what consumer protections are in place for Illinois utility customers during the Coronavirus public health emergency and what happens for consumers when these protections expire