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Illinois Expands Energy Choice

The Illinois Commerce Commission has extended energy choice to more than 800,000 natural gas customers in the Ameren Illinois territory, which covers 1,200 communities and three-quarters of the state.

ameren2(That rumble you hear is the collective cheer of energy suppliers and industry advocates across North America.)

Energy Choice was previously available only to non-residential customers in Ameren. This week’s ruling extends the program to include residential and low-volume business customers, mirroring the programs already in place in North Shore Gas, Peoples Gas and Nicor.

Those programs have encountered a few hiccups over the years at the hands of unscrupulous marketers, however, so the ICC opens the Ameren market with increased consumer protections in place.

As reported by Energy Choice Matters, the Small Volume Transportation (SVT) program carries the following stipulations.

• A customer shall be absolved from paying any termination fees if, prior to the due date of their first bill, they notify the supplier that they are terminating the contract.

• When a customer has accepted service from a supplier after solicitation by a door-to-door salesperson, there shall be no termination fees assessed if the customer terminates during the first six billing cycles.

• If a supplier’s marketing materials include a price comparison of the supplier rate and the gas utility rate, the depiction of such comparison shall display at least three years of data in no greater than quarterly increments, and shall also display the supplier’s offered price for the same or equivalent products or services for each of the same increments.

“When a new territory opens up, it’s always exciting news in our industry,” AGR Group President Matt Judkin said. “We’ve seen the rollout and maturation of many energy choice programs in our 12 years in business, and it’s always best in the long run when they are done cautiously, with the consumer experience in mind.”

The Ameren program will include purchase of receivables, which allows the consumer the convenience of paying one bill to the utility for both gas supply and delivery charges. The utility, in turn, pays the customer’s energy supplier.

US Power and Gas energy consultants work with home and business owners to lower their long-term energy costs through money-saving and price-protection commodity contracts. If you’d like to lower your clients’ electricity and natural gas costs while building your own career based on residual income, learn more today.

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