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updated: 7/31/2014 7:36 AM

Consumer advocates watching Exelon-Integrys deal

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Associated Press

Energy watchdog groups are worried that Exelon's Corp.'s plan to buy one of its business competitors will be bad for northern Illinois electricity customers.

Exelon said Wednesday that it's buying the retail business of Integrys for $60 million. Integrys Energy Services sells electricity and natural gas to about 1.2 million customers in 22 states and Washington DC.

Many northern Illinois customers switched from Exelon subsidiary Commonwealth Edison to Integrys last year to get cheaper rates.

Howard Learner is executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center. He says Exelon's acquisition of Integrys could reduce competition and lead to higher utility bills and fewer renewable energy options.

The deal doesn't include Integrys' solar energy business.

Chicago-based Exelon says Integrys Energy Services will become part of its Constellation unit.

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