ComEd has reiterated its support for customers' ability to choose an alternative electricity supplier in advance of approximately 1.2 million customers voting in municipal aggregation referendums on election day. The City of Chicago and about 60 other municipalities on Nov. 6 will consider referendums on whether to pursue municipal aggregation, where local municipalities pool their residents together to select an electricity supplier.
"ComEd supports and encourages customers to shop for electricity among the dozens of certified alternative suppliers. Customers should explore any opportunities to save money on their bills, whether that's through shopping or energy efficiency," said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO, ComEd. "ComEd will still deliver electricity safely and reliably to every home and business in Northern Illinois, regardless of the customer's choice of supplier."
ComEd does not generate any electricity. The company's role is to deliver electricity to every home and business in Northern Illinois. For customers who get electricity supply from ComEd, the company buys electricity in the competitive wholesale market and passes it through to customers at cost. ComEd is not financially impacted when customers choose to buy their electricity from alternative suppliers because ComEd does not make money on the electricity itself.
Customers who switch to another supplier will see no change in their electricity delivery service from ComEd. ComEd will still deliver electricity to every home and business in Northern Illinois, no matter the choice of supplier. ComEd's process for prioritizing restoration after service interruptions, such as storms, will remain the same.
"We have always supported electricity competition as a way to provide customers with greater choice and money-saving opportunities," said Pramaggiore. "Competition keeps rates low. In fact, ComEd's average residential rate is about 20 percent lower than the average of the top 10 U.S. cities."
As a result of Illinois' longstanding policy to bring electricity choice to consumers, more than 1.5 million ComEd residential customers have already switched to an alternative retail electricity supplier. By far the driving force behind this growth has been municipal aggregation. Once the municipality selects a new electricity supplier, each resident has the option to opt out of the program and either select their own supplier or remain with ComEd. To date, more than 930,000 customers from nearly 150 municipalities have switched to a new supplier as a result of this program alone. And choices are abundant: More than 40 alternative suppliers in ComEd's service territory are certified to sell energy to residential customers.
When a municipality's residents collectively switch to another supplier, ComEd has to record the switches in its system. ComEd will process large volumes of customer switches as quickly as possible. The Illinois Commerce Commission's Office of Retail Markets has oversight over development of competitive retail electric markets.