The Citizens Utility Board has created a free calculator to help residents compare power supply rate offers in the Illinois electric market, the consumer advocate said.
The CUB Power Calculator, at www.CUBPowerCalculator.com, is designed to help residents compare what they would pay with an alternative electric supplier versus the regulated utility, Ameren Illinois.
“Navigating the waters of the Illinois electric market can be difficult,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said. “CUB’s power calculator can help Illinois families choose the right electric deal for their household.”
Looking for an alternate electricity supplier maybe something more people in Central and Southern Illinois after a spring electricity capacity auction led to an increase in the supply rates charged by Ameren Illinois on June 1.
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The calculator works for individual alternative supplier offers, as well as deals negotiated by communities through municipal aggregation agreements.
Consumers can type in the alternative supply rate they wish to compare to Ameren’s price, any extra monthly fees charged by the supplier, the Ameren zone they live in or their town, and their estimated monthly electricity usage for the summer.
The calculator will then determine what the user would spend with the alternative supplier offer versus Ameren, CUB said. The tool only calculates summer months because Ameren’s rate is not known beyond September, but CUB plans to update the calculator.
CUB also has suggested questions people should ask when evaluating whether to switch to an alternate electricity supplier:
▪ Is the advertised price a variable rate that will change monthly, or a rate that is fixed for a certain period?
▪ Is the alternative supplier price an introductory rate that could skyrocket after a few months?
▪ Does the offer force me to pay an exit fee if I want to get out of the contract?
It can take up to two months to switch to an alternative supplier, so a deal that looks good now may not be in the future, CUB said.