You voted: The worst/best utility companies in the state!

Boy, you really are mad about your cable bills!

Comcast took top honors in our poll that asked Illinoisans to name the worst cable, electric, natural gas, telephone or water companies in the state. Consumers also voted on the best company, and that honor went to Nicor Gas.

More than 1,000 people voted in each poll and these companies garnered the most votes:

Worst 

  • Comcast:  30.1 percent
  • ComEd: 25.6 percent
  • AT&T:  18.7 percent
  • Peoples Gas: 7.7 percent
  • Ameren:  4.97 percent
  • Nicor Gas:  4.4 percent
  • Other companies receiving votes: Illinois American, Frontier, North Shore Gas, RCN, MidAmerican

Best

  • Nicor Gas: 27 percent
  • User provided no answer: 16.9  percent
  • AT&T: 16.2 percent
  • ComEd: 13.1 percent
  • Peoples Gas: 6.8 percent
  • Ameren: 5.2 percent
  • Comcast: 4.7 percent
  • Other companies receiving votes: RCN, Frontier, North Shore Gas, Illinois American, MidAmerican

It’s been a rough year for Illinois consumers. They began 2014 paying huge heating bills during the polar vortex winter–CUB has requested that federal regulators probe the root causes of the winter price spikes. And now we face about $1 billion in rate-hike battles.

Add to that frustrations over cable TV. Back in May CUB surveyed consumers over what bill they hated most and, you guessed it, cable got the nod.

Turns out people love their TV, but hate those bloated cable packages. Last year, more than 2,100 people used CUB’s Action Network to ask Congress to push for “a la carte” cable plans, in which consumers can choose what channels they want.  (One analysis found that the average cable customer is charged for more than 100 channels, but uses only 18!)

So why did Nicor get the nod as the best utility in the state? It might not be a coincidence that the company in recent years has been under a self-imposed no rate hikes pledge, a concession of its merger with Atlanta-based AGL Resources.

We’ll see how the company polls after that pledge is lifted at the end of this year, and Nicor begins to ask for increases.

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About Jim Chilsen

Jim is director of communications for the Citizens Utility Board (CUB)
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