The number of residential units switching from traditional electric service providers to new companies is shocking. In March 2011, the Illinois Commerce Commission recorded 2,034 residential accounts that switched from Com Ed or Ameren to other electric service providers that have been popping up across the state.
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Those new providers persuade consumers to switch by offering monthly rate cuts, as much as 40 percent, and it appears to be working. ICC Chairman Doug Scott says the latest numbers from his office show 1,012,505 residential accounts now on electric plans other than Com Ed or Ameren. “Price has been the main driver of that … but the really main driver has been the municipal aggregation, that’s been cities voting, deciding that they want to band together and use their purchasing power together to look for an alternative supplier,” Scott said.
He says as a former mayor (of Rockford) it has been fascinating for him to see the developments. He says it started off slowly but is picking up steam. In March there were over 300 municipalities that had referendums on the ballot. Scott says there are more on the November ballot.