CHICAGO, June 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) on Monday alerted Central and Southern Illinois consumers to a change in Ameren Illinois' electricity price.
As of June 1, Ameren's summer "price to compare"—the rate customers should compare to alternative supplier offers—is down slightly from its winter rate. According to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), this is the new Ameren price through September 30, 2020:
4.396 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh)*
*This rate includes Ameren's supply price plus a transmission charge and a supply cost adjustment.
Consumers who are pitched an offer from an alternative energy supplier should compare that company's price to Ameren's supply rate above. Over the last five years, residential and small-business customers in Illinois have lost $870 million to alternative electric suppliers, according to state officials.
Knowing Ameren's "price to compare" helps consumers make informed decisions about their power bills and avoid rip-offs, CUB said.
"During this public health and economic crisis, we want to do everything we can to help prevent people from getting ripped off by a bad supplier deal," CUB Communications Director Jim Chilsen said. "Everyone should know that in the current market, Ameren Illinois is likely your best bet."
The utility watchdog advised consumers to visit CUBHelpCenter.com. The center features COVID-19-related utility updates, and it's where you can order a free copy of CUB's Guide to Home Savings. All the time spent at home during the pandemic could be hard on a home's utility bills. That's why the guide has money-saving energy efficiency tips, a warning about bad supplier deals, and tips on how to reduce telecom and cable costs.
CUB also advised that during the COVID-19 emergency, there is a moratorium on utility shut-offs, but there is not a moratorium on billing. Your usage will still be recorded, bills will continue to be delivered, and full payment will be required eventually. So CUB advises consumers to ensure they don't get too far in debt with the utilities.
If you can make full payments, do so. If you've hit hard economic times because of the crisis, be assertive in reaching out to your utility, and let it know that you do want to pay your bills. If you are able to pay something, always seek a payment arrangement with your utility or to renegotiate a current payment plan you have with the company. And whenever possible, always seek to practice sound energy efficiency (be prudent with your usage).
CUB is Illinois' leading nonprofit utility watchdog group. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, CUB has saved consumers more than $20 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds. For more information, call CUB's Consumer Hotline at 1-800-669-5556 or visit CUB's award-winning website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.
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SOURCE Citizens Utility Board