Commonwealth Edison, the local electric utility company serving Chicago and the surrounding areas, now allows their customers to shop for electricity prices that are lower than their own default rates.
Energy choice in Illinois is giving consumers the ability to choose who they buy their power from. In addition to lower prices, some consumers are choosing to buy green power from electricity companies in an effort to minimize their carbon footprint. Customers who participate in ComEd energy choice can find substantial savings on their electricity bills while still receiving the same great service they have come to known from ComEd.
Many people in Illinois are still confused on ComEd’s role in electricity deregulation. Prior to electricity choice, ComEd was in charge of generating the electricity supply and delivering it to households and businesses in the Chicago area. Illinois energy choice gives consumers the ability to buy their power supply from alternative energy companies. The Illinois Commerce Commission continues to regulate the delivery aspect of the power business. ComEd remains responsible for power delivery, including setting up and disconnecting power at a property. ComEd revenues are obtained through the delivery charges stated on the ComEd electric bill and regulated by the ICC.
Consumers who decide not to shop for lower electricity rates pay a default price to compare through ComEd. However, ComEd does not profit from their price to compare generation rates. These electric rates are determined by auctions for competitive energy companies. Consumers paying the high default rate are actually already paying money to competitive electric companies, it is just going through ComEd first. For this reason, ComEd actually encourages their customers to shop for electricity, as their core business is the management of the distribution lines in northern Illinois.