Monday, July 11, 2011

More pulling the plug on ComEd just as Nicor joins the market

Nicholas Apostal is so excited to be saving $40 to $50 a month on his electric bill that he’s recommending his home-buyer clients do the same.
Apostal decided to pick an electricity rival to Commonwealth Edison for his home electric service after his friends wrote on Facebook about the savings they had realized from switching.
“Then I got a letter from a company saying I could save money on my electric bill, and I put two and two together,” he said.
Apostal is among more than 83,000 people who have switched to an electric utility other than ComEd since competition in the industry revved up in January, a new report shows. That’s fewer than 2.5 percent of ComEd’s 3.4 million residential customers in Northern Illinois.
But a new player is poised to gain some of the market: Nicor Inc., which provides natural gas to 2 million suburban customers, will become the best-known competitor later this month when the Naperville-based utility enters ComEd’s residential market territory.
A Nicor subsidiary recently entered an agreement with Dominion Resources to provide the electricity under the “Nicor Electric” name, said Nicor spokesman Richard Caragol. Nicor will provide marketing and customer-call support for the electric service, he said. Dominion, based in Richmond, Va., provides electricity to more than 750,000 customers in 13 states.
ComEd spokesman Bennie Currie said the utility has long advocated competition.
“We support the right of our customers to choose their energy supplier,” he said.
Though the number of customers using providers other than ComEd is tiny, the data show a surge of interest since BlueStar, the first competitor, started offering residential electric service to a few hundred customers in April 2008, said Kevin Wright, president of the Illinois Competitive Energy Association.
BlueStar, headquartered at 363 W. Erie in Chicago, expanded its residential services in May 2010, and encountered its first rivals when other utility companies entered the market in January, Wright said.
ComEd doesn’t make a profit selling you electricity. It passes along the cost it pays for power but bills for delivering electricity to your home. Thanks to an Illinois Commerce Commission decision, alternative suppliers are able to piggyback onto ComEd bills instead of having to send out separate bills.
Wright said the state’s policy of enabling customers to receive one electric bill, listing both their supplier’s price and ComEd’s price for delivering the electricity, helped make it easier for people to switch suppliers. Some of the ComEd rivals do their own online billing, in which case the customer still pays ComEd for service delivery. That’s because, regardless of which supplier a person chooses, ComEd remains responsible for the poles and the wires over which it delivers the electricity.
Customers also quickly realize a benefit by being able to choose among competitive offers, Wright said.
Ten companies offer residential service locally with a variety of prices and contract terms. Besides BlueStar, they are Ambit Energy, based in Plano, Texas; Champion Energy, based in Houston; Constellation Energy, Chicago; Direct Energy Services, Toronto; Energy Plus, Philadelphia; IGS Energy, based in Dublin, Ohio; Integrys Energy Group, Chicago; Nordic Energy, Chicago, and Spark Energy, Houston.
Apostal, the principal broker at The Apostal Group, affiliated with Coldwell Banker, used the website to choose BlueStar Energy Solutions as his electricity supplier about four months ago. When he discovered that BlueStar’s headquarters office is three blocks from his condo, he felt even more confident in his choice.
“That made it feel very real,” he said.
Another benefit is that BlueStar lets Apostal pay his monthly electric bill online, automatically, from his checking account.
“I was happy to get away from receiving paper bills and advertising,” he said.
The utilities’ residential kilowatt-hour prices and offerings will be posted, starting some time this week, on the Illinois Commerce Commission’s website, .
One or two more entrants could qualify to sell electricity in Illinois in the next month or so, and even more could do so after that, said Torsten Clausen, director of the Office of Retail Market Development.
Illinois is one of 17 states that offer people a choice of electricity suppliers.
The competition is nothing new to businesses in Illinois, which have had competitive electricity suppliers for 13 years. Indeed, Clausen said ComEd competitors provide 75 percent of the electricity to business and commercial customers.


Post a Comment


Chartered Accountant Courses Business Online Payment Processor Women Management Living Without Money Berlin Creations Buy Real Views Banking Software Solutions httphttp countingyourblessings castlescrownand adventure corps Make Money With Patents america china society apartments and design auto electrical systems auto repair advice guide auto repair business banking promotions credit cards Real Estate And Security Home beauty product skin health beauty salon product Vacation Insurance business auto car business auto insurance cost business ideas plan business parts auto car finance tools commercial car insurance quote iPhone and iPad Turkey criminal lawyer job description cuentas and colors Generic Drug Strategies Financial Crisis desigs furniture home Cheap Wedding Dresses doing exactly this drugs abuse statistics Education Legal Issues education essay titles emergency medical information Development Service Solutions finance insurance premium financial and information free download software android games and android software Online Shopping Cart get her new book guide healthy recipes Pokerstars Real Money health for women and tips health problems of children health topics kids healthy ageing home decorating service home for sale and rent home improvement projec home improvement project management home improvement project planning The Sexual Life and Abuse of Children Business Services Chip Card insurance business loans insurance premium loan European Education Technology Terms lawyers guns and money quote legacy landscape blocks legacy landscape contractors legacy landscape materials living rooms decorating making me money Lawyer Requirements mens healt hand tips Ensure Plans Insurance Indianapolis Website Design Employment and the Economy natural skin care cosmetics products news design real estate news real estate license online health beauty care products online shopping business plan people with bad credit solution personal financial services personal loan credit cards property and homes real estate and security home real estate for commercial resort and restaurant Animal Service Best Beauty Products security innovation network Cheap and Reliable Car Insurance shopping online lingerie signature priority banking skin care cosmetic products smart home inspiration Money Maintenance teach about alcohol abuse technology supports auto car the best flooring america the best form finsurance solutions the online shopping channel the real estate event Where can I Find a Lawyer tile flooring ideas tips life time fitness tips reduce cari insurance quotes tourism Travel guide traveller and hotel Barbecue Electric vehicle technologies electrical The shirts and Jackets Design wood flooring ideas wood shed network