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 prices 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 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: 4.707¢ / 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: 7.175¢ / 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.
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.
Below are answers to some of the questions you might have about Illinois electricity.
How much does ComEd charge per kWh in Illinois?
Effective January 2020, the ComEd residential price to compare is 7.175 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 the 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.
If you are interested in finding out what’s on offer in your area, don’t hesitate! Comparing rates and switching suppliers is free and can translate into some great savings at the end of each month when the electricity bill arrives.
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