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Energy Choice | July 16, 2012

Residential electricity choice is hot in Illinois

The landscape is changing for residents interested in exploring their electricity options in Illinois, according to a recent report released by the Office of Retail Marketing Development of the Illinois Commerce Commission. The number of electricity offers available for residents served by ComEd and Ameren in Illinois and the number of alternative retail electricity suppliers (ARES) providing them are both on the rise, among other growth indicators are highly encouraging when thinking about the future of electricity options for consumers in Illinois.

In Ameren and ComEd, there were a total of 494,479 residents that chose an ARES as of May 2012, an increase of approximately 2,200% compared to the number in 2011 (which was 21,449). This makes up 12% of ComEd’s total residential customer base, 8.7% of residential customers in Ameren’s Rate Zones 1 & III, and 6.8% of residential customers in Ameren’s Rate Zone II. Last year, there were only less than one percent of customers in ComEd on competitive supply and less than one tenth of a percent in all three of Ameren’s rate zones.

Another compelling statistic – the pace at which residents chose an ARES was about 1,300 residents per day compared to only 58 per day last year. This equaled to an estimated total savings amount of approximately $24 million residential customers in Illinois, which was significant.

It’s likely that residential consumers decided to switch at a faster pace partly because there were more offers available. According to the report, the number of offers posted on more than tripled in ComEd from May 2011 to May 2012 and nearly doubled in Ameren during the same time period.

There were also more suppliers with offers in the market. The report showed 70 ARES, up from 54 this time last year. Of the 70 competitive electricity suppliers, 40 have obtained certification to serve residential and small commercial customers, up from 22 compared to last year.

This year marks 15 years since electric consumer choice came to law in Illinois, and if this type of activity continues to grow in the years to come, it provides a promising view for electric competition in Illinois. To view the full report recently released by the ICC Office of Retail Market Development, visit

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