Jacksonville and Morgan County residents may have received an unsolicited knock on their door this weekend. There were multiple reports in the area on social media about solicitors flashing badges asking to see residents’ power bills. Some may have referred to a letter that Ameren-Illinois may have sent in the postal mail. Power suppliers, usually alternative energy providers, have been known to use this tactic.
Residents are allowed to change their electricity supplier, but often residents automatically allow Ameren to choose a default rate for them. Ameren technically still provides the service but the Alternative Power Supplier bills you through Ameren. The sales pitch for the alternative suppliers is that they offer a much lower rate to customers. The agreement also often comes with a contract and terms and conditions to be followed for so many years. If residents choose to opt out of the contract, they are charged early termination fees.
The solicitors will often use a number of different sales tactics to get residents to sign the contracts. Residents are urged never to give their account numbers out to anyone unless they know for sure they want to opt-in to the Alternative Power Supplier’s contract. Residents are also under no obligation to allow the solicitors to see their bill.
If you sign up with the solicitors, and change your service provider from Ameren, you have 72 hours (3 days) to undo this at no cost to you. Call Ameren 1-800-755-5000 and inform them that you do not wish to change service providers. Call the company listed on the paperwork the salesperson gave you and tell them the same.
Ameren-Illinois says that if you have questions about your bill or your electric supplier or the status of your account, you can call them at 1-800-755-5000.