More than half of the electricity consumed in Illinois is now bought from retail electric suppliers, according to a new report released last week by the state’s utility regulators.
The report, by the Illinois Commerce Commission's Office of Retail Market Development, found that 97,020 electric customers had switched from the state’s electric utilities, Commonwealth Edison Co. (ComEd) and Ameren Illinois, by the end of 2010.
Although most of those electric customers were commercial and industrial businesses looking to save money off utility bills and better manage their power usage, residential customers have begun to switch in greater numbers. According to Roy Boston, Illinois State Chair for the Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA), 83,000 electric customers in ComEd’s service territory had switched to an alternate electric supplier by the end of June 2011.
The total amount of electricity provided to commercial, industrial and residential customers that have switched to an alternative electric supplier now represents 58 percent of the entire electric load in Illinois, Boston said.
According to the report, there are now 37 alternative electric suppliers certified to sell power in Illinois. Twenty-four of the electric suppliers are in ComEd’s service territory and 18 are in Ameren’s service territory.
“Retailers Supply More Than Half of Illinois Power,” Reuters, July 8, 2011.