Following up on my recent post, Switching Electricity Suppliers: Where Are the Savings? I thought I would pass along some info directly from “the Man” here in Illinois, also known as ComEd. Since most of you here likely don’t look at your bills (much less understand them – more on that here) I think I’d be pretty hard pressed to find anyone who’s gone exploring on the ComEd website. Am I wrong? As such, I took the liberty of spelunking through their site on your behalf, which you should really appreciate since I’m highly claustrophobic. In any case, I unearthed some pretty interesting treasures therein. I suspect that most of you have no clue (don’t take that personally, I know you’re too busy livin’) that ComEd actually supports consumers switching over to alternative energy suppliers.
Verbatim, this is how ComEd feels about deregulation:
“ComEd strongly supports customer choice. It allows us to concentrate on our core business: the safe and reliable delivery of electricity.”
Operative word being “delivery” here. (In case you missed that large bold font. ) Kind of sounds like they want you to switch suppliers, hmm? Maybe they feel a little guilty, since they are not exactly known for their stellar customer service, with regard to billing issues and such. And they have to know – we sure do! — they are not offering the best rate on electricity supply. It’s like any business whose service or product offerings are too disparate; focus tends to fall on one more than the other, by default. We get it. They’re too busy making sure the wires are intact and your lights are burning bright. Makes sense to me. To quietly acknowledge (and hopefully remedy) that, they have an entire section on their site dedicated to helping people understand and feel more comfortable with the switching process. In particular, since there seems to be quite a bit of distrust about energy suppliers and whether they’re legit, I thought I would highlight a specific area that discusses how alternative energy suppliers themselves are indeed regulated. (Despite us being in a deregulated state, are we ever truly without regulations? I thought not.)
Here’s the scoop:
“The ICC must certify an Alternative Retail Electric Supplier. If an electric supplier or local utility fails to provide promised service, the law permits you to file a complaint with the ICC (800) 524-0795 and/or the Illinois Attorney General (312) 814-3000 in Northern Illinois or (217) 782-1090 in Central and Southern Illinois. The ICC will monitor the marketplace and publish on its web site the names of companies that fail to provide service in accordance with the terms of their contracts.”
I pulled all of this info from the site below. Highly recommend you check it out for yourself, however.
You can review all of the suppliers for your area and their contract terms here. Still have some fears about making the switch? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org — I’ll hold your hand and we can tiptoe through it.