Illinois CUB Report Shows Potential Pitfalls in Switching to Alternative Electricity Suppliers

The Illinois Citizens Utility Board has issued a report on the state of third party electricity and gas suppliers, Illinois Electric Market Report, May 13, 2014.

“CUB experts who field calls and staff events throughout Illinois are reporting a 115 percent increase in consumer complaints this year about alternative electric suppliers. A mix of market instability, consumer confusion, and misleading (or at least imprecise) marketing has created a treacherous environment for Illinois consumers who stand to lose hundreds of dollars per year on bad deals. While there are many alternative suppliers that are acting appropriately and there are still offers that can save customers money, CUB’s report shows that May 2014 average prices from alternative electric suppliers competing against Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) are more than 20 percent higher than they were last May. CUB’s report highlights the five biggest problems consumers are encountering in the electricity market:

1) Exorbitant rates.
2) Low introductory rates that suddenly disappear.
3) Extra fees.
4) Punishing exit fees.
5) High-pressure sales pitches.

This report is a warning to consumers to watch out for rip-offs in Illinois’ fledgling electricity market.”

Much the same could be said for New York.  

Gerald Norlander

Follow New York’s Utility Project  on Twitter

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