Bill to rein in retail power suppliers at a crossroads in Springfield
Retail electricity marketers want to continue to renew contracts at higher prices without customer permission. Attorney General Kwame Raoul wants that to stop.
By Steve Daniels May 17, 2019
Springfield has a chance at last to reform a retail energy supply industry whose marketing tactics have led hundreds of thousands of households to pay more for electricity than they would if they just stuck with Commonwealth Edison.
The industry is making a last-ditch bid to water down the bill, which easily passed the state Senate, in the House. Negotiations with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, who is championing the bill, are at a delicate state with two weeks to go before the legislative session ends.
In the meantime, the situation is leading to more consumer unhappiness. Customer complaints to the Illinois Commerce Commission, which regulates utilities and oversees power marketers, spiked 70 percent in 2018 compared with the year before.
Despite two straight years in which customers of these retail suppliers collectively overpaid by more than $100 million, the number of consumers buying from a supplier other than ComEd has remained high. As of the end of March, 1.17 million households got their electricity from a retailer, about 1 in 3, according to the ICC. That was just slightly above 1.16 million a year before.
Read the full article in Crain’s Chicago Business here