Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit Monday against an alternative electricity supplier for allegedly ripping off thousands of Illinois customers through high-pressure sales tactics that ultimately cost them $2.5 million more than if they’d stuck with ComEd.
The attorney general conceded she has only been able to pursue the “worst of the worst” among 100 authorized alternative retail energy suppliers doing business in Illinois — an industry she said is “rife with fraud.”
More than 1.8 million residential customers in Illinois have switched to an alternative electricity supplier instead of continuing to buy their power from their local utility company, including nearly 1.2 million ComEd customers.
In the past three years, that switch has cost Illinois residential and small commercial customers $400 million more in electricity costs than their electrical utility company would have charged, Madigan said.
Obviously, that’s not how things were supposed to work after Illinois deregulated the utility industry in 1997, allowing companies to compete to supply the electricity and natural gas delivered by the big utility companies.