Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1. Will my electricity service be less reliable if I purchase from a third party supplier?
A.1. No. Your reliability will remain the same as if you purchased your electricity from ComEd.

Q.2. Who do I call if I have a power interruption?
A.2. As ComEd has a monopoly for distributing your electricity, you still call ComEd if you have a power failure.

Q.3. How much can I expect to save if I purchase electricity from a third party provider?
A.3. We have seen some customers save up to 30% on their electricity supply costs (compared to ComEd's new rates). Keep in mind, however, that there are many factors that determine the cost of your electricity. A more common savings figure for customers in the medium and small rate groups is 10% to 15%.

Q.4. If I do nothing, what will happen?
A.4. You will default to ComEd's Basic Electricity Service -- ComEd's new, higher rate. The increase in your annual electricity expense will be on the order of 20% to 45%.

Q.5. What is the process if I want to join Energy Choices Electricity Buying Program?
A.5. If you spend more than $8,000 per month, fill out the on-line form and send it to us by email or fax. Filling out the form should take about 10 minutes. Energy Choices takes your data and information and secures a customer specific price from our suppliers. Within three or four days you will get an email response from Energy Choices showing the analysis of the suppliers' responses relative to ComEd's applicable rate. You make a choice and sign a contract with the supplier. The entire process should take about one week from the time we receive your information.

If you spend less than $8,000 per month, follow the instructions for Energy Choices Instant Savings Product.

Q.6. So, Energy Choices doesn't provide the electricity?
A.6. No. Energy Choices acts as your agent in getting you the most competitive price. The suppliers from which we solicit bids have approximately 80% of the retail market in Illinois. Your supply contract will be with the supplier you choose.

Q.7. How long has Energy Choices been in business?
A.7. Energy Choices was founded in 1997 by two experienced energy professionals -- David Miller, PE, and Craig Schuttenberg, PE. Every year since customers in Illinois have been able to purchase electricity outside of ComEd's bundled service (1999), Energy Choices has assisted customers purchase 250 mW of electricity in the most cost-effective manner.

Q.8. How long is the normal third party contract?
A.8. Because we want to present a true representation of the savings over ComEd's new, higher price, we suggest a 17-month contract (the same as the relevant time period for ComEd's Basic Electricity Service). Keep in mind, however, because third party suppliers can offer contracts of any length, if you want stable electricity prices for two or three years, a third party supplier can offer that.

Q.9. What is the cost of joining Energy Choices Electricity Buying Program?
A.9. There is no cost to join. Energy Choices is paid by supplier who successfully competes for your business.

Q.10. Why can you get us cheaper electricity that ComEd can through their auction price?
A.10. Because ComEd is a regulated utility, they have several operating constraints that tend to boost their cost of electricity. There is also subsidization of some municipal rate classes that increases the cost of electricity for regular business customers. Whatever the reason, the fact of the matter is, third party supply is less costly and can save you more than 10% over ComEd's prices.

Q. 11. Will my electricity expense be less in 2007 than 2006 with Energy Choices Electricity Buying Group?
A. 11. Unfortunately, because the prices of all forms of energy have increased over the 10 years that ComEd's electricity rates were frozen, your electrictiy expense in 2007 will most probably be more than 2006. Energy prices are dictated by world events and local conditions. We aren't magicians. However, Energy Choices Electricity Buying Program can mitigate the increase by more than 10% of the energy only price.

Q. 12. The ICC ruled on December 20, 2006 that the rate increase will be phased in. Is that for all ComEd customers?
A. 12. Unfortunately, not. The rate phase in is only for residential customers. All other ComEd customers will be paying the full brunt of ComEd's higher auction prices come January 2, 2007.