Chicago Electricity Shopping Spurred by ComEd Price Increase

Electricity shopping activity in Chicago has picked up in recent months due to a price increase approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission for ComEd. As the largest electricity utility in the state of Illinois, ComEd provides a default electricity rate to their customers who do not select a competitive supplier. Historically, the price of the ComEd default rate has correlated strongly with electricity shopping activity in the territory. When the default increases, more customers look to shop the competitive market for low Illinois electricity rates that can save them money. Alternatively, when ComEd lowers their default price, some customers leave their competitive supplier plan and jump back on to the default plan. At its peak in March of 2014, electricity choice participating in the ComEd market reached 2.4 million of the 3.8 million customers. As a result of a consistently falling ComEd default rate, until recently, the participation number has steadily fallen to a low of only 1.25 million customers in April of 2017.

Over the last year, residents in Chicago and the rest of northern Illinois, has seen the ComEd price to compare rise steadily from $0.062 in June of 2016 to $0.06892 in July of 2017. The 11.16% year over year increase has caused some to start shopping the competitive Illinois electricity market once again. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that there are now more competitive electricity suppliers offering service to Chicago area than ever before at rates that are deeply discounted from the default price. The combination of a high default rate and low competitive electricity rates is expected result in more active electricity shoppers in northern Illinois.


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