On January 9th 2013, the city of Chicago switched providers from Commonwealth Edison to Integrys Energy. The deal touted savings of over 20% and the included the well publicized addition of the “No Coal Provision”.
Back then, looking closely at the provisions of deal, we thought this deal might be blowing some artificial steam. As the Chicago Tribune mentioned, there’s no real way to know where the electricity originates from.
That said, we wanted to look at the overall numbers, and see what sort of impact this “No Coal Provision” really had.
The city of Chicago had roughly 900,000 residents participate in the switch. Out of 4.58 Million eligible accounts in the state of Illinois (20%), in the theory, the % of coal generated should drop substantially.
We decided to check out the facts. To do so, we compared the percentage of coal produced (by net generation) in IL in January (right before the switch) to the percentage in March (2 months after).
As we predicted, the “No coal provision” had little impact. In January of 2013, 25.5% of electricity generated in Illinois came from coal sources. Comparatively, in March, 42.3% was from coal. Not only did the numbers not go down as thought, the % of coal produceddrastically increased.