More and more Illinois electricity customers are discovering the benefits of buying their power from an alternative retail electric supplier (ARES).
The number of Illinois residential electricity customers who switched from their utility and started buying their electricity from an ARES grew more than 17 percent in December, to 261,998 from 223,528 in November, according to the most recent data from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), which regulates the state’s electricity service.
In December, more than 30,000 customers switched from ComEd alone, bringing the number of residential electricity switchers from the state’s largest public utility to 225,486, an increase of more than 15 percent from November.
“We’ve been seeing the momentum build for switching all year long, especially from ComEd,” said Jim Head, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Spark Energy. “When electricity choice first came to Illinois in January 2011, only 1,188 customers switched from ComEd to an ARES. By May that number had increased almost twenty-fold. By the end of September, more than 100,000 had switched. And by the end of December, just three months later, more than 225,000 had switched. Based on the trend, those numbers could easily eclipse a quarter million when the ICC releases data for January.”
Head cited ongoing educational efforts by the state and the electricity suppliers for helping Illinois residents understand the benefits of switching. Head also noted that robust consumer protection rules in the state were helping ensure the safety of electricity customers who left their utility in favor of buying their power from an ARES.
Illinois Commerce Commission, “Supply Options Chosen by Customers of Commonwealth Edison Company, 2011,” Jan. 25, 2012.
Plug In Illinois, “Residential Customers Taking Service from a RES.”