Below normal temps could affect some electric bills

By Nick Kovatch on February 11 at 1:00pm

The Illinois Commerce Commission is alerting Alternative Retail Electric Supplier customers about potentially higher bills because of cold temperatures.

While the vast majority of the more than three million Illinois residents who take competitive electricity service from alternative retail electric suppliers are on fixed rate contracts, some customers, on variable rates, could see large increases in their electric supply rate.

Beth Bosch is a spokeswoman with the ICC.

“If there are customers in the area who have contracts with alternative suppliers, and there are dozens of suppliers who are working in the state, they should probably review their contracts just to make sure because there may be terms in there that allow the price to rise with the market,” says Bosch.

The ICC urges Illinois’ electric customers, who have contracted with retail electric suppliers, to be aware that the recent cold temperatures and resulting spike in wholesale power prices, may affect their rates if their contract includes a variable rate. Current retail customers, particularly those on variable rates, are advised to review their existing contracts and contact their suppliers to answer questions and address any concerns.

“Customers of Ameren have a set price for their electricity for the year but customers who are buying from an alternative supplier may have a different type of contract,” says Bosch. “So, what we’d like is just make sure they know so they’re not surprised or if they have any questions about what they got in their bill they’re certainly welcome to call us.”

The best way to review electric supply options available to residential customers is to visit and learn what offers are currently available as well as learn about the electric utility’s current Price-to-Compare.

Consumers may contact the ICC’s Consumer Services Division with questions or complaints by calling 1-800-524-0795 or through the ICC’s website at