Consumers who buy their electricity from alternative energy providers have been seeing some price hikes lately. A consumer group is asking state regulators to look into it.
The Citizens Utility Board says the rate spikes are a recent trend in the four years of open competition in Illinois. CUB Executive Director David Kolata says he thinks the companies are unnecessarily trying to pass their extra costs from the harsh winter onto the customer.
A new report says electricity deregulation has saved Illinois customers up to $37 billion over the past 16 years.
The report being released Monday by four business groups says the average household has paid $3,600 less overall than if the average annual electricity rates had stayed the same.
Deregulation kicked in in 1998, allowing Illinois utilities to compete for business on the open market rather than being regulated monopolies whose rates were set. The utilities before deregulation both supplied and delivered electricity to customers, who had no other choices.