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updated: 7/14/2011 2:38 PM

Electricity choice good for residents

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Northeastern Illinois residents have a new choice. ComEd customers can decide which company provides their electricity service. Just like consumers choose other household products -- from cellphones to cable and Internet -- Illinois residents can now comparison-shop for electricity service.

Choice is good for consumers. And Illinois consumers are eager to choose electricity providers at a time when high gasoline prices are impacting household budgets. A recent market research poll conducted by Kelton Research for Constellation Energy, a residential electric competitor in Illinois, showed that 73 percent of Illinois residents surveyed are likely to switch providers if it means saving money.

Our members -- top businesses across the state of Illinois -- have enjoyed competition in the electricity market for more than 10 years. They find the low prices, reliable customer service and innovation to be valuable in running efficient businesses. Now Illinois residents can enjoy these same benefits. About half dozen companies have jumped into the market offering between 10 percent and 16 percent savings. This is an important choice and consumers should educate themselves on all the options before making an decision. The Illinois Commerce Commission presents all the options at

Many companies offer a simple online signup process. By state law, customers can switch to a competitive electric supplier without impacting utility service reliability. No matter which company consumers choose, ComEd will continue to deliver electricity over the same poles and wires and handle service outages.

As the residential electricity market matures, we will see more companies vying for valued space. This is good for consumers and good for the state. Illinois residents, just like businesses, deserve the opportunity to enjoy the many benefits that competitive energy markets can bring.

Tom Wolf

Executive director

Energy Council

Illinois Chamber of Commerce