What grade would you give to your current electricity supplier? C-minus? A?
Consumer advocate group Citizens Utility Board (CUB) is doing just this on your behalf, in a report that grades alternative electricity suppliers on how well they have served Illinois consumers since entering the market in full force in 2010. The report finds that alternative suppliers have saved people millions of dollars so far, but CUB gave the suppliers low scores on innovation and consumer protection, earning letter grades of D-minus and C, respectively. (For more, see this CUB video on alternative electricity providers.)
There is, however, an electricity rate option which you may not have heard of that saves you money while also being innovative and providing excellent customer service: it’s called hourly pricing and it’s available to all residents in the ComEd and Ameren territories. Rather than pay a fixed rate, you are charged the variable hourly price for electricity and can take advantage of lower rates during off-peak times, like nights and weekends.
ComEd Residential Real-Time Pricing (RRTP) program is an hourly rate option that allows consumers to pay wholesale prices for electricity. It has saved customers 25 percent on average on their electricity supply since 2007.
Similarly, Ameren’s Power Smart Pricing (PSP) program has saved customers 25 percent and more than 80 percent of PSP participants say partaking in the program is “quick and easy.” Specialists for each program provide support through a designated call center and community workshops, helping you along every step of the way.
If that’s not enough for you, listen to the experts. In their 2012 review of the programs, the Illinois Commerce Commission found that “ComEd has sufficiently demonstrated that its RRTP program results in overall direct and indirect consumer and societal benefits” and that Ameren’s Power Smart Pricing benefited customers and helped to reduce peak demand for electricity. CNT Energy currently administers both programs.
These two programs help you take control of your energy costs. The more you can shift your use to off peak times, the greater potential you have to save. Want to know if these programs are a good fit for you? Find out at www.ComEd.com/RRTP (1-888-202-RRTP) or www.powersmartpricing.org (1-877-655-6028).