CUB’s Power Calculator, a free tool to help you judge alternative electricity supplier offers in Illinois, has been updated with new winter power prices.
Here’s how you use it:
- Go to www.CUBPowerCalcuator.com
- Just plug in the price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of an alternative electricity supplier’s offer. (Make sure to ask if there’s a monthly fee. You can add that into the calculator too.)
- Hit calculate.
CUB’s calculator will show you how the alternative offer compares with the ComEd or Ameren Illinois rates. As of Oct. 1, the utility companies are charging these rates:
ComEd: 6.388¢/kilowatt-hour (kWh)
Ameren: 6.514¢/kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the first 800 kWh used; 4.776¢/kWh for usage over 800 kWh
The prices above are what you compare to alternative supplier offers that are pitched to you. Follow these tips:
* Don’t give out your electric bill or account number unless you are sure you want to switch. If you do, an unethical marketer could use that information to switch you to an alternative supplier without your consent.
*Ask if the rate you are being offered is an introductory or promotional rate, and if so, when does that rate end and what will be the new rate.
*Ask if the rate you’re being offered has any fees tied to it—such as an exit fee, or a monthly fee that will inflate the per-kWh rate. Exit fees are capped at $50, and you can avoid getting slapped with one if you cancel a contract within 10 days once the supplier’s charges first appear on the bill.