Illinois Residents: As municipal rate plans expire, rates may go up

If you buy electricity in Illinois there is a good chance you’ve saved a little money due to municipal aggregation. A few years ago when Illinois opened up its retail electricity market the law allowed for companies to negotiate deals with local municipal governments (villages, cities, counties, townships) which typically resulted in cheaper electricity for residents. Okay, hopefully I haven’t already lost you…this is important!tearing contract

Most of those rates were pretty good – unless you’re in Aurora, IL – your rates are very high and you should call us immediately! But, many of those agreements are set to expire in coming months. One very big example is the City of Chicago who’s municipal aggregation agreement expires in May of 2015. However, there are many other agreements that are set to expire soon.

What that means is there will be uncertainty in the market and potential rate increases. Here are a couple of tips to protect yourself from rate increases:

  • Check here to see if your municipal aggregation plan is set to expire soon.
  • If it is, check with your town about the new rates.
  • Keep a close eye on your electricity bill.

With preparation and research you can benefit from the market uncertainty by getting lower rates from competitors. If you don’t have the time to research and manage the switching – we can do it for you.

Many people (Chicago included) will automatically switch to being Comed customers. If you’d prefer cheaper or greener electricity than Comed offers, sign up with Energy Simply and we’ll keep you locked into the cheapest or cheapest green electricity available at all times.

Illinois Electricity Prices on the Rise

Recent news reports have cast a light on impending increases that will start to show up on your electricity bills. The reports outline obscure policies and conditions that could lead to increases as high as 20%! The time has never been better to shop around for a better electricity supplier, or let Energy Simply do the work for you – you’ll save money as energy prices increase and you won’t have to worry about getting hit with hidden fees or switching penalties.

Crains recently reported on a somewhat obscure court ruling that could have major impacts on your energy bills. They’ve also provided coverage on power company rate hikes that will lead to residential customers’ rates jumping significantly! The Chicago Tribune had a similar article outlining the rate hikes for Chicago-area customers.

Finally, there are many consumers whose municipal aggregation electric plans are set to expire and increase in the near future. The Village of Norridge is planning to switch back to Comed since they haven’t been able to negotiate a lower group price. Arlington Heights has paid major fees to an energy consultant, but their rates still aren’t the cheapest available. In fact, cities and towns all over Illinois are seeing their negotiated rates on the rise. Even if your city or town has negotiated good electricity rates for you, Energy Simply can save you money and find you 100% renewable plans, and there is no penalty for opting out of your municipal plan.

So, to recap: The bad news is that your electricity prices are going up. But, the good news is that when you sign up with Energy Simply, we will shop around to keep you locked into the cheapest or cheapest 100% renewable electricity plan. You can rest assured you’ll get the best deal for your money.

As rates start to rise, Energy Simply is prepared to take the hassle out of getting the best deals on cheap and renewable electricity.

Sign up at www.EnergySimp.ly today.

Gideon Blustein is a Co-Founder and Advisor of Energy Simply. He previously worked in the United States Congress as a Chief of Staff and for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. Gideon is pursing an MPA from Northwestern University and holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois.

Why Does It Take So Long For My New Plan To Start? (Illinois Residents)

By: Jordan Hobfoll, Co-Founder and CEO, Energy Simply LLC

Unlike in states like Texas, when you switch power plans in Illinois you don’t start your new plan right away (in Texas, you can either wait up to 7 business days or pay extra fees for a switch sometimes as fast as same day). So what gives?

You thought you signed up for your new plan, so where are your savings?

The answer lies in the rules for how ComEd and Ameren switch your provider. There are two restrictions that create this gap.

  1. There is an 18 day waiting period from when ComEd or Ameren receive the request from your new provider until when they generate the order to switch your service.
  2. A generated order to switch service isn’t completed until your next meter read date

So for example, if your next meter read date is in 15 days, and you sign up for service with a cheaper provider today (assuming the new provider immediately submits your request), then ComEd won’t generate the order to switch you until 3 days after that meter read date. And you won’t actually get switched until the following meter read date 27 days later, for a total of 45 days from when you signed up until you are switched. Additionally, you won’t see your new supplier on your bill until 30 days more after that, when you get the bill from that billing period.

So it could take 75+ days before you physically see a cheaper bill. No wonder it sometimes feels like it take forever. It sort of does…

So what if you sign up for a 6-month fixed term contract that is set to expire 11/15. How do you know when to sign up for another plan so you don’t get charged month-to-month variable rates by the supplier?

Well in this case, your expiration should also be your meter read date. So you want to choose a new provider at least 18 days before that date, or before 10/28. But at Energy Simply we recommend that you be even more conservative and choose your provider 2 weeks even before then, or 10/14 in this case. That way you minimize the possibility that a delay in a provider’s submission to ComEd or Ameren, or a slip up from ComEd or Ameren causes you to miss the deadline.

If it sounds complicated and a lot to keep track of, that’s because it is. However, you can simplify this process very easily. How? Let Energy Simply manage it for you! We keep track of all the dates for you and use our proprietary analysis to make sure you are always in the best plan.

Jordan Hobfoll is the Co-Founder and CEO of Energy Simply. He previously worked at McKinsey & Company, where he was a consultant for some of the largest electric utilities in the United States. Jordan also holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.S. in Finance with High Honors from the University of Illinois.

How Much More $$ Does 100% Renewable Energy Cost

By: Rob Dolin, Co-Founder and CTO, Energy Simply LLC

I don’t know anyone who would not choose 100% renewable energy IF it was the same cost as non-renewable energy.

In fact, in the City of Seattle, over 10,000 residents pay between $3/month and $12/month EXTRA to increase the portion of renewable energy in the electricity they purchase from the local utility.  But maybe you’re not in the temperate climate of Seattle and you experience the sweltering summers of Houston, TX or the harsh winters of Chicago, IL; and you don’t want to be faced with a sky high power bill because there was extreme weather and you wanted to do something good for the earth.

Based on our monitoring of the Illinois and Texas power markets, I’m pleased to report that with the help of Energy Simply to keep you in the cheapest (or cheapest 100% renewable) plan, at today’s rates, lighter electricity users can get 100% renewable energy for ZERO premium and heavier energy users pay only 10% – 15% more.

  • Residents of the Chicago, IL area would not spend more for 100% renewable power
  • Residents of the Dallas, TX area would spend only about 12% – 13% more for renewable power
  • Residents of the Houston, TX area would spend 10% – 15% more for 100% renewable power

CHICAGO – In Chicago, the cheapest price on power is currently a 100% renewable plan.

Usage Cheapest Cheapest 100% Renewable Renewable Premium
500 kWh $11 or  $0.02 (w/$75 rebate) $11 or  $0.02 (w/$75 rebate) 0%
1,000 kWh $46.9 or $0.0469 (w/ $75 rebate) $46.9 or $0.0469 (w/ $75 rebate) 0%
2,000 kWh $118.8 or $0.0594 (w/ $75 rebate) $118.8 or $0.0594 (w/ $75 rebate) 0%

DALLAS – Using the Texas Energy Commission’s Power to Choose website for a quick comparison, we find:

Usage Cheapest Cheapest 100% Renewable Renewable Premium
500 kWh $35 or $0.07 / kWh $35 or $0.07 / kWh $0 / 0%
1,000 kWh $56 or $0.056 / kWh $63 or $0.063 / kWh $7 / 12.5%
2,000 kWh $108 or $0.054 / kWh $122 or $0.061 / kWh $14 / 13.0%

HOUSTON – Using the Texas Energy Commission’s Power to Choose website for a quick comparison, we find:

Usage Cheapest Cheapest 100% Renewable Renewable Premium
500 kWh $40.50 or $0.081 / kWh $40.50 or $0.081 / kWh $0 / 0%
1,000 kWh $66 or $0.066 / kWh $73 or $0.073 / kWh $7 / 10.6%
2,000 kWh $122 or $0.061 / kWh $140 or $0.07 / kWh $18 / 14.8%

If you want to be in the cheapest 100% renewable (or just cheapest) energy plan, we can help.  Visit www.EnergySimp.ly

Thanks–
–Rob

Rob Dolin is the Co-Founder and CTO of Energy Simply. He has over a dozen years experience in the technology industry including work in the Office, MSN, and Windows divisions of Microsoft Corp. and technical partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Sina Weibo. Rob holds a B.S. in Engineering with Honors from the University of Illinois and a Graduate Certificate in User-Centered Design from the University of Washington.

You Won’t Notice Any Change To Your Power Bill If You Switch Energy Providers…Except The Lower Price. (Illinois Residents)*

By: Jordan Hobfoll, Co-Founder and CEO, Energy Simply LLC

One of the first questions people in Illinois ask us is, “If I let you switch my power provider, will I get an additional bill or will I have to change my auto pay.” In Illinois, the answer is: No and No.*

Your power bill will still be sent to you by ComEd or Ameren. You will still be able to go online and access your account. Your auto-pay will not change at all.

Only two things will change; your new power provider supplier will now be listed by the supply section of the bill. And IF you choose wisely (or use Energy Simply) the amount you pay for supply will also go down. How much can it go down? For some people as much as 50% or more, but for most people the supply charge reduction will be in the 10-25% range.

ComEd or Ameren will still deliver your power and your bill.  If there are any issues with your power such as outages or surges, you still call them not your new power provider.  You only need to contact your new supplier if you have a problem what they have charged you.

As an added benefit of this structure, there are no new credit checks and therefore no sensitive personal data is required to switch power suppliers in Illinois.

It’s easy so what are you waiting for.

  1. Let Energy Simply make sure that you are always in the best provider-offered plan, based on their research and knowledge of all the retail electric providers and plans.
  2. Figure out what you are paying now on your power bill, Then go to Plug In Illinois and choose a plan that saves you money. Make sure you choose a Fixed rate plan. And make note of when the plan will expire so you can switch to a new plan at that time

Happy Savings–
–Jordan

Jordan Hobfoll is the Co-Founder and CEO of Energy Simply. He previously worked at McKinsey & Company, where he was a consultant for some of the largest electric utilities in the United States. Jordan also holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.S. in Finance with High Honors from the University of Illinois.

*There are two minor exceptions, AEP Energy and Champion Energy Services send out their own bills.  So far Energy Simply has not recommended these to any customers as having the cheapest or cheapest 100% renewable power plans