The City of Chicago announced that it has renegotiated its electricity deal with Integrys Energy Services after growing concern among consumers that they might be better off returning to ComEd for their electricity supply. The new deal splits Chicago households into 10 different “tiers” with accompanying rates that are intended to save consumers money and encourage efficiency.
In 2012, the majority of Chicago’s 700,000 households were switched to Integrys as part of the City’s municipal aggregation deal. Over the first two years of the deal, all consumers saved money (more than $30 million, or about $42 per customer over the first 16 months of the offer). But rates changed during the final year of the deal– reflecting a changing power market and particularly brutal winter.
For the summer of 2014, Integrys announced new rates: 5.29 cents per kilowatt hour with a $22.36 flat monthly charge for single-family homes and a $9.06 charge for apartment and condo dwellers. Whether or not that deal was good for consumers depended on their type of housing and the amount of energy used (for this reason, CUB developed the Chicago Power Deal Calculator to ease decision-making).
This week, a new change was announced. The City’s renegotiated deal splits Chicago customers into 10 “tiers” with corresponding monthly fees attached to each tier. A consumer’s tier depends on their average energy usage over the past year. This fee will be added to the 5.29 cents-per-kilowatt hour energy charge already in place. The City told Crain’s Chicago Business that the changes were aimed at cutting costs for more households and encouraging energy efficiency.
You see the tiers here (the top chart is for single family homes, the bottom one is for apartment/condo dwellers): The City reports that 60 percent of residents will be receiving a better deal with this restructured rate (compared to the 2-tier Integrys deal in place previously), and 10 percent will see no change.
Customers began receiving letters from Integrys this week explaining the change. If you decide that the deal will not save you money, you can opt out and return to ComEd for electricity– but it is highly unlikely you will be able to opt back in if you change their mind later. If you have questions, please reach out to our Consumer Hotline at 1-800-669-5556.