Illinois Residential Electric Rates
The Illinois Commerce Commission oversees electricity choice in Illinois. The local utility companies continue to deliver power and send you your monthly electric bill even after you choose a competitive supplier. If you do not choose a supplier, you pay a default rate known as the Price to Compare.
If competitive rates are below your utility’s Price to Compare, then you will save money on your electric bill.
Comparing Electricity Rates in Illinois
The official state electric choice website, operated by the Illinois Commerce Commission is called Plug In Illinois. In it, Illinois residents are able to learn about the electric competition in Illinois, find out how to choose a supplier, compare Illinois electricity rates, and even do the switch.
The process is very easy:
- Visit the Plug-In Illinois website and select ‘Compare Offers Now’
- Select the energy utility company that services your area
- Hit ‘Compare’ and discover some exciting energy savings you could be getting on your bill
However, Plug-In Illinois isn’t your only choice when it comes to comparing electric rates. You can enter your zip code on our website to see the available offers in your area or read our energy suppliers’ reviews and find out about additional perks you can enjoy as a customer.
For natural gas, only the consumers served by Nicor Gas, North Shore Gas, and Peoples Gas have the opportunity to shop for competitive natural gas rates.
Illinois Energy Market Data
With the average residential energy rate of only $0.1473 per kWh, the Illinois energy options are very close to the national average of $0.01443. This means that the process of energy market deregulation (for both electricity and natural gas) has been successful and that affordable energy rates are available to both commercial and residential customers. Indeed, businesses in Illinois pay as little as $0.0863 per kWh – one of the lowest commercial energy rates in the US.
The state of Illinois is not a big polluter – 10% of its energy supply comes from renewables (much higher than some other states), while 54% comes from renewable energy. This leaves barely 36% of electricity needs that are satisfied through the use of fossil fuels, although the state is looking to be 100% renewable by 2050. This will mark an important transition and development point for the country – as it switches from a linear to a circular economy.
|Average Illinois Residential Energy Rate||$0.1473 per kWh|
|Average Illinois Commercial Energy Rate||$0.0863 per kWh|
|% of Renewable Energy in Illinois||10% Renewable Energy|
|Illinois Deregulation Status (Yes/Partial/No)||YES, both electricity and natural gas|
|Main Source of State Electricity - Illinois||Nuclear - 54%|
|Average Illinois Household Energy Use - Month||957 kWh per Month|
|Average Illinois Household Energy Use - Year||11,000 kWh per Year|
|Average Illinois Monthly Electric Bill||$135|
Illinois Energy Market Overview
Energy freedom for Illinois customers came in 1997 when the Illinois Commerce Commission approved state energy deregulation. Since then, more than 1.67 million residential and over 75% of commercial and industrial customers switched energy providers.
As a result of this impressive adoption rate, the average cost of electricity in Illinois is very close to the US average (13.32 compared to 13.04 ¢/ kWh) for residential customers and below average for commercial customers (9.01 compared to 10.57¢/ kWh ); despite being the US fifth most populous state.
The high demand for cheaper energy has also contributed to a large number of electricity and natural gas suppliers, competing for the attention of Illinois customers. If you live in Illinois and you haven’t yet switched, read on to find out all you need to know about how to get the ball rolling.
Utility Companies in Illinois
There are two big utility companies that deliver electricity in Illinois. Depending on which one of them serves your area, you get charged different electricity rates. If they are your utility provider, you are able to compare their rates against the retail electric suppliers and, when you find an irresistible offer, simply make the switch.
Service area: Ameren services a large portion of southwest Illinois, including the cities of Peoria, Jacksonville, Decatour, and Springfield
- Customer service number: 1 800-755-5000
- Current standard electricity rate: 10.63¢ / kWh
Service area: ComEd is the largest Illinois electric utility, supplying power to 3.8 million consumers in 25 counties in Northern Illinois (70% of the population).
- Customer service number: 1 800-334-7661
- Current standard electricity rate: 11.04¢ / kWh
Energy Plans & Products in Illinois
Energy plans are like shoes. One size does not fit all. Navigating through complex information about power rates can be confusing and can ultimately deter you from shopping for a better deal. Below is all you need to know about the different energy products that power companies offer to Illinois residents:
|Plan||Description||What's Good?||What's Bad?|
|Fixed Rate||Your unit price for gas and electricity will remain the same for the duration of the plan||
|Variable Rate||Your per-unit gas and electricity costs can vary at the discretion of your supplier||
|Green / Renewable Energy||On this plan, your supplier will match the energy you consume by buying an equal amount from renewable generators|| |
|Prepaid||This plan lets you pre-purchase power for your home at a set price, like a prepaid cell phone|| |
Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)
By purchasing 1 REC, you purchase the environmental benefits of 1MWh of renewable energy generation
Reputational gains and compliance targets for businesses with a mandated renewable obligation
There are no real downsides -RECs are fairly cheap and the system is secured and tightly monitored.
Is Switching Providers Worth It?
When choosing the right energy plan for your home, you should bear in mind that simply switching providers will not do the trick. You should use Electricrate.com to, enter your ZIP code area and then browse all the plans offered by different energy providers in your area. You can also use the filter option to only display the plans you are interested in – these could be:
- Green energy plans,
- Fixed-rate energy plans,
- Variable-rate energy plans,
- Business energy plans (commercial energy plans), or even
- Prepaid energy plans.
Beware that business energy plans may not always be available. In this case, you should browse the list of all the power providers working in the area and choose the ones you think offer the best services. This could be based on a high percentage of green energy or attractive freebies. Whatever the reason for your decision, just go by it. Then, cold call these energy suppliers and see what custom-made offers they can make for you. As every business has different energy use, energy habits, and energy needs, most power providers will come up with custom rates and terms and will ensure that you stay with them for a long time.
How to choose the right plan for your home
When choosing the right energy plan for your home, there are several things that you should take into consideration. To ensure that the energy service you’re looking for matches your energy needs and your energy budget, you should:
- Analyze your current energy costs,
- Analyze your current contract and plan (essential!), and
- Compare energy plans found on Electricrate.com.
Analyze Your Current Costs
When analyzing your current energy costs, you should do the calculation on a month-by-month basis and on a yearly basis. When calculating your month-by-month energy use, you can find all the necessary information on your latest energy bill. Browse bills for up to a year before the current date and compare the prices:
- Has there been any price increase lately?
- What kind of plan am I on? Fixed rate or a variable rate?
- How does my energy use change throughout the year?
- Is there anything I should do to ensure that I save as much energy and money as possible?
Ask yourself these questions first and never accept any offer for a new electricity plan over the phone or email. Doing so could compromise your current plan and savings and accepting any offers without any research on your own part could end up in significant charges to your account – both in the case of electricity and natural gas charges.
Once you know your current costs, you should proceed to check out how energy plans in Illinois work. As there are several kinds, each with its own freebies, perks, etc. you should always take some time to browse the offer and compare it to your current contract and plan.
Analyze Your Current Contract and Plan
Before making a switch to a new provider, you should first check out your current energy contract and electricity plan. Take time to find additional details on the website of your current power provider. This should mean that you should know all the perks your energy plan has to offer:
- Any benefits you may not be using?
- Cash-back or energy bill credit for green energy producers (if you have a solar array)?
- Are there any freebies, such as Google Nest or a free home energy audit you haven’t used?
These small things add up a lot of value to your energy plan. If you think that your energy plan is a bit pricey but has great freebies, use them and save money and energy – a free home energy audit could easily save you over 20% on your monthly electric bill – simple and cost-effective changes are always welcome in any home and apartment.
Compare Energy Plans
Once you know your energy needs and energy habits and are sure that your current plan is no longer the best match for your energy use, you should start browsing other energy plans. Do not forget to compare each plan to other energy plans based on multiple points that may interest you – such as energy rate, additional charges and surcharges that should be paid, as well as free nights and weekends or free advising on energy efficiency in your daily life.
Alternative Energy Solutions in Illinois
In 2015, the Illinois energy industry went through another change, this time related to sustainability. The state government organization Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition introduced the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill, setting up some ambitious renewable energy targets for the state, including the commitment to make Illinois powered by 100% renewable energy by 2050.
If you are a resident of Illinois and are yourself wondering, how you can green up your power, below are a few options:
Switch to a green electricity plan - Most of the retail providers in Illinois offer at least one partially or fully renewable energy plan. With the green plans, the supplier pledges to buy Renewable Energy Certificates or RECs, from a generator that produces power from renewable sources, such as wind. Enter your zip code to see the available green energy plans.
Buy a Renewable Energy Certificate - As described above, these are tradable certificates that renewable energy has been generated. Anyone anywhere in the US can buy a REC in a voluntary market, be it a residential or commercial customer. Green-e is a clean energy global standard certification and a good place to buy a REC or check the credential of a green energy offer.
Go solar - The state of Illinois offers special solar incentive programs and tax rebates to residents who decide to produce their own energy by installing a solar panel.
Make your voice heard - If you feel strongly about the environment, you are able to send a message in support of the greener Illinois initiative on the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition website. Just fill in the simple message form and they will forward it directly to the state legislators on your behalf.
Getting to know your Illinois Electricity Bill
If you take a closer look at your Illinois electricity bill, you will see that there is more than one charge being added to the due amount each month. As this is a point of confusion for many residential customers, let’s consider where these charges are coming from. The first point to discuss is the energy deregulation in Illinois.
As energy market deregulation takes place, the old companies, which were in charge of generating electricity, transmitting, distributing, and providing it to the end consumers were usually broken into two companies at least. These two companies include the utility company and the energy provider. As is the case in all energy market-deregulated areas, new power suppliers can enter the market. It is for these reasons that there are two charges on your Illinois energy bill. Now, let’s consider these charges in more detail.
Utility Delivery Charges
The utility delivery charges are charges made to your monthly energy bill with the sole aim to cover the expenses of delivering power to your household. These costs include operating and maintaining all the necessary infrastructure, including poles and power lines. This means that the money you give to the utility company does not cover the costs of electricity, but rather the cost of all connected services which are essential to delivering power to your home.
Supply charges, on the other hand, are there to ensure that you pay for the electricity that you’ve used. Supply charges are paid out to your power provider and they are used to pay for the electricity you’ve used in a month to the wholesale energy market. This is the market where big players, including fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable-energy power plants gather to sell and purchase their electric capacity. Only a small portion of this money actually goes to the power provider and is used to cover their own operational expenses, such as management, software, sales representatives, etc.
Factors that Affect Electricity Rates
There are many factors that affect electricity rates. These factors include fuels, power plant prices, grid operation, and maintenance costs, local area regulations and, believe it or not, weather conditions. With all these factors, understanding how your energy price is formed is of crucial importance when making a decision to switch to a new power provider. Without any further ado, let us consider the factors that determine your energy rates:
Fuels are the most important factor that contributes to the energy price you pay. As you know, some form of fuel has to be burned to release energy and turn it into electricity. As fuel prices fluctuate throughout the day, month and year so do the price of the electricity you pay. To protect yourself from sudden surges in energy pricing, you should always consider getting a fixed-rate energy plan that is both long-term and cheap.
Some fuels commonly used in electricity generation include:
- Coal – very polluting, being phased out in the US,
- Natural Gas – less polluting than coal, this fuel emits around 50% less carbon dioxide (CO2), as well as no particulate matter, including dust, ash, and PM particles,
- Biomass – a truly renewable source, if responsibly harvested,
- Biogas – a byproduct of farming practices, burning biogas prevents harmful methane from being released into the atmosphere,
- Municipal waste energy recovery – best used in urban areas with heat recovery as well, these plants burn waste generated by residents to recover electricity, and heat and reduce the volume of the trash that gets deposited into the landfills.
Besides these, there are also nuclear power plants and renewable energy power plants.
Power Plant Prices
For each of the previous fuels, separate power plants have to be built. Although there are some power plants in the US that can use more than one type of fuel, it is necessary to say that these cost more and are usually not as energy efficient. That being said, every power plant costs to be built, operated and maintained. Even in the case of peak power plants and backup power plants, they cost to be in standby mode, as all the personnel has to be ready to take over energy production in the case of a sudden surge in demand.
Local Transmission and Distribution Systems
The grid or the local transmission and distribution system is a complex system of poles, power lines, and transformers that all work in sync to provide a reliable and stable power supply to the communities attached to the grid. With this much complexity and the sheer size of the grids in the US, special companies, utility companies, are established to take care of them. These companies work day and night to fix any issues that may appear, including power outages, brownouts, and blackouts.
These companies also ensure that the grid is always being modernized, that your electricity meter is being read every month, and that your home is connected to the grid as soon as it is built. Although a significant portion of your energy rate goes towards paying for these expenses, you should not see them as redundant. Rather, you should see them as an investment into an energy-secure future for both you and your family.
Your local area regulations also dictate the price of every kWh of energy you use. This is done by the state or local authorities dictating the minimum and the maximum price that energy could be sold at. This ensures a fair market, where companies cannot lure in new consumers with promises of low prices, only to increase the rates months into the new contract term.
Local weather conditions can affect electricity prices as well. This can generally happen in one of two ways. Firstly, weather extremes can significantly impact both the supply and the demand end of the energy generation and distribution part. During particularly cold weather and hot weather as well, all Illinois residents rush to their thermostats. This means higher energy production at the same time as the power plants struggle to meet the demand, especially as the weather extremes significantly reduce their energy conversion efficiency and pose challenges to fuel delivery.
The second way that weather can impact the energy rates in your area is noticeable in the renewable energy industry. This means that bad weather can impact some of the renewable energy production capabilities. A sunny winter, for example, is great news for solar power plants, but it also means less precipitation and less energy stability, as hydro dams cannot fill up their accumulation. On the other hand, a lot of precipitation usually means less solar energy can be sent into the grid.
Energy Deregulation in Illinois
Energy deregulation in Illinois took place in 1997. The laws of Illinois Electric Service Customer Choice and Rate Relief were passed. Today, the natural gas market is also deregulated meaning that the average Illinois resident can choose both their natural gas and electricity provider.
These two laws were supposed to advance efforts to reduce the cost of life and energy price in the state. The comprehensive plan that was made meant more development, and today it means a faster transition to renewable energy sources.
Energy Providers vs Utility Companies
If you live in an energy-deregulated area, you may have noticed the terms ‘utility company’ and ‘power provider’ or a ‘power supplier’. Many people mix these terms, so, to make everything as clear as possible, let’s consider what they mean.
A utility company is a company in charge of maintaining the power grid. It is also in charge of transmitting and distributing electrical power that is in the grid. This is the company you call when there is a power outage and this is the company that does the job of securing that the power supply is back online as fast as possible. This company charges you a portion of your bill, namely the utility delivery charges.
On the other hand, an energy provider is a company you can choose to provide power to your home. This company has nothing to do with the utility company and is rather a separate entity. This company enters the wholesale energy market and purchases electricity in your name. This is the company that you pay 50% of your power bill
Below are answers to some of the questions you might have about Illinois electricity.
How much does ComEd charge per kWh in Illinois?
Effective June 1, 2022, the ComEd residential price to compare is 11.041 cents per kWh.
What is the current electricity price per kWh?
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average residential electricity price in Illinois is 13.32 ¢/ kWh. This price varies slightly, based on which utility company services your area. If you shop around and switch to a retail energy provider, this price will likely be cheaper.
Who are the retail electric suppliers in Illinois?
Retail suppliers are companies that have obtained a certificate from the Illinois Commerce Commission to supply Illinois residents with electricity. You can find the list of Illinois suppliers on the Plug-In Illinois website.
What is the electric supply charge?
The electric supply charge is the price you pay per kilowatt-hour for the electricity you use in your home. The price is determined by whom you choose as your supplier, whether it be a retail electric supplier or the default utility company.
Wherever you may live in Illinois, having a good electric rate is a possibility. Use Electricrate.com to browse energy plans offered in your area and find the best plan suited to your needs. With a variety of energy plan options, kinds, and electricity rates suited to everyone’s pocket, you can start saving on your energy bill today.