New survey raises questions about electric aggregation
2 months, 3 weeks ago
From pantagraph.com: A new survey analyzing the deregulated electricity market in Illinois is drawing some negative conclusions, while acknowledging impressive savings consumers are realizing because of voter approval of electric aggregation referendums across the state.
The Citizens Utility Board, a statewide consumer watchdog group, has come up with a catalog of problems, including whether the savings being achieved today will stand the test of time, questionable sales pitches to consumers and a general lack of product innovation.
The Retail Energy Supply Association, an industry group for non-utility power suppliers, responded by saying its members followed strict guidelines for “good marketing practices” and that it welcomed efforts to rein in “any bad actors” who give the power industry a bad name.
The association also highlighted the savings being enjoyed by customers, estimated statewide from $92 million to more than $200 million in 2012. CUB ranked the level of those savings — as worth an “A-” in its survey. It said the savings have been especially impressive in towns that opted for municipal aggregation, allowing residents to be marketed as a block to competitive energy companies.
Overall, those customers have averaged a rate of 4.08 cents per kilowatt hour in the service territory of Ameren Illinois, compared to the default power cost offered by the utility of about 5.4 cents per kilowatt hour.