Consumer savings are there, but overall Illinois’ alternative electricity suppliers are getting a grade of “incomplete” from a consumer group. The Citizens Utility Board says the incomplete grade comes as a result of reports of misleading sales pitches, a lack of innovation and the question of whether electricity suppliers can offer savings after a market shift this summer.
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“It’s good news that power shoppers have saved money in the short term, but Illinois is still in the honeymoon phase of electric competition,” said David Kolata, executive director of CUB, as he unveiled a report card for Illinois electricity market. “The Land of Lincoln power market is about to undergo a big test and alternative energy suppliers should make key improvements.” In June, the higher-priced utility contracts expire, and ComEd and Ameren rates are expected to drop.
On short-term savings, CUB gives power suppliers an “A-minus.” In consumer protection the grade of “C” was awarded. CUB cites termination fees of up to $175 for the grade, as well as misleading marketing. On innovation a “D-minus” was given because suppliers have focused solely on the price advantage, which is unlikely to last. CUB says more must be done in launching energy efficiency initiatives. CUB says the overall grade is that of “Incomplete.”