Integrys Deal Changes

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): 20140725_tiers 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.

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2 Responses to Integrys Deal Changes

  1. Bally High says:

    I did a little math. Assuming that the ComEd rate is 7.596 and that a consumer continues to use electricity at the same average rate that they did they previous year, it is mathematically impossible for a single family home customer in Tiers 1, 2, and 3 to get a lower rate from Integrys than from ComEd. It is mathematically impossible for an apartment resident in Tier 1 and Tier 4 to get a lower rate from Integrys than from ComEd.

    Check the table below. The first number is the maximum monthly average kWh in each tier. The second number is the minimum number of kWh per month that a customer in that tier must use in order to make up for the monthly fee. If the first number is less than the second, a customer cannot come out ahead with Integrys.

    Single Family
    Tier 1 302 973
    Tier 2 637 870
    Tier 3 793 936
    Tier 4 1478 1153
    Tier 5 3485 1306

    Apartments
    Tier 1 104 304
    Tier 2 294 174
    Tier 3 438 330
    Tier 4 598 653
    Tier 5 1483 973

  2. Bally High says:

    It should be emphasized that while 60% may get a better deal than under the old rates, they may or may not be getting a better deal than switching to ComEd or another alternative provider. More people should be opting out, but don’t understand this deal or their options.

    This change is just juggling the rates a bit to disguise the fact that the second year of this deal is a real stinker.

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