Commonwealth Edison (or Comed for short) is the electric utility that covers most of the Chicagoland Region. According to their website, they supply more than 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois. While it is no secret when their rates are scheduled to increase, many of their customers will be surprised to know that rates are guaranteed to keep climbing incrementally over the next two years.
The current Comed rate is 6.318 cents per kWh. That means if you’re an average user (average sized house, family, appliances etc) your cost might be about $63 bucks per month, not including delivery charges and other fees outside of the cost of electric. Over the next couple years Comed is stepping up prices:
- June 2017 = 6.89 cents per kWh
- October 2017 = 7.15 cents per kWh
- June 2018 = 7.54 cents per kWh
If you’re doing the math then you’ll see that an average user might see a $12/month increase or $144/year. And if you’re an above average user of electricity (heated swimming pool, larger home etc.) your pocketbook will get hit even harder.
Because these prices are tied to the base price of electricity, alternative suppliers will also see increases, but if you’re currently a Comed customer it is a good time to begin shopping the alternative suppliers and actively monitor your costs.
States like Texas and Illinois that have deregulated their electric markets are counting on informed consumers to find their own best prices. However, there are a couple of reasons why this doesn’t work.
A little more than a year ago, I was knocking on doors in a Houston neighborhood to survey homeowners about their electric purchasing experiences. One gentleman in particular stands out. He was retired, friendly and very willing to boast about the “best” price his contact had “hooked him up” with. Perhaps too quickly, I asked if he’d share his per kilowatt hour price with me. Hesitantly he let me know that he was paying .14 cents per kilowatt hour. THAT IS ALMOST DOUBLE WHAT HE SHOULD BE PAYING!
Unfortunately where the system breaks down is that consumers are busy and finding the right price is not a straightforward task. Purchasers often just have to rely on trust in what marketers are telling them and sadly those marketers are not always honest.
It is time you just own up to that fact. You have to pick the plan and you’re not quite sure the Power to Choose website is the best way to do it. Maybe you decided to just pick the one where the really nice guy came to your door and told you it was the best price. Perhaps you picked a plan, but now have just defaulted into whatever variable rate went away after the lower, introductory rate. Maybe you just don’t want to THINK ABOUT IT!
There are solutions out there. There is a growing field of service providers that choose and switch you into different electric plans so you never have to worry about it. There are a couple of things to watch out for however.
- Price. Some of those companies (think: Green Man-Eating Giant) simply charge too much. $120 bucks a year? Those prices would turn me into an ogre too.
- Truly Independent? There is a cottage industry in brokering between consumers and electric providers. Most of those brokers take a kick back from the electric company so they may not have your best interests at heart.
We were founded with the consumer in mind. We knew there were enough fed up consumers in Texas that we could charge a really fair price ($5 bucks a month) and maintain our 100% loyalty to YOU, the consumer. We’re your ally, we’ve got your back. Now stop paying too much for electric!
Today we received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and we’re so proud we want to shout it from the mountain tops. However, since we are not on mountain tops and it is rather late at night, we’ll happily post it to the internet via our blog and social media pages.
According to its website, the “BBB helps people find and recommend businesses, brands and charities they can trust.”
Basically they help you, the consumer, know that you’re dealing with a reputable company that delivers on promises. Why does that matter to us? Honestly, because we save people so much money by monitoring and switching their energy supplier that it is a little unbelievable.
If you want to become a believer, sign up at http://www.EnergySimp.ly.
Comed’s electric rates have recently gone down in Illinois prompting the question: what if my cheapest option is the “default” option? In Illinois, if you don’t proactively choose a retail electric provider you auto-default to Comed. This is different from Texas where you must choose a retail electric provider.
For Customers Who Want the Cheapest Electric: There are times when Comed offers a competitive rate, but even when their prices go down, there are typically still a handful of cheaper rates or incentives packages that we can switch our customers into. While the savings might, for a limited time, become smaller they’re still savings. And when prices begin to swing back up – you’ll rest easy knowing that you’re still getting the cheapest.
The Green Answer: Many of our Illinois customers utilize our service to ensure they’re always getting the cheapest 100% renewable electricity. Typically the cost is the same or just slightly more, as outlined in this past blog post. Since we are constantly monitoring and switching our customers into the cheapest rates, our customers often get to take advantage of cash back and gift card incentives from their electric providers as well.
We get this question more often from Illinois customers, rather than Texas. Both Illinois and Texas are deregulated energy states. That means that people can choose which “retailer” they purchase their energy from. The difference between Illinois and Texas is that Illinois has a “default” retailer which is the well-known utility, Comed. All Texans have to choose an electric retailer in order to obtain their power.
So, the simple answer is: YES.
However, once you’ve signed up with Energy Simply, you won’t ever have to worry about changing power companies again. It can be a hassle to navigate the hundreds of companies and thousands of plans to figure out which one is right for you. That is why Energy Simply monitors the markets and takes care of the switching – saving our customers hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
For answers to more of your questions, click on the FAQ category, located on the right hand side of this blog.
Energy Simply has expanded its services to include small business clients who stand to save thousands of dollars in electric costs.
Building on its successful residential business model, Energy Simply is offering competitive commercial electric advising services for small businesses in Texas. Small business owners, eager to put more money into their business instead of their electric bills, have quickly jumped on the bandwagon. Strong potential clients include retail, office, restaurant, coffee shops, bakeries – any small business that could benefit from cost savings.
Interested parties can sign up for their free consultation by calling 1-844-586-9850, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.