How Do I Change My Energy Supplier? The Illinois Residential User’s Guide
Maybe it’s your cryptic monthly bill from your utility, full of tables of numbers and charges that you don’t understand. Perhaps you can’t stand dealing with their exhausting phone menu and nobody seems to ever call you back. Maybe your bill is spiking every other month and your budget is suffering from the randomness of it all. There are many reasons you might want to get rid of your current electricity supplier and switch to someone better. Trust us, we’ve heard scores of reasons from our new clients who are eagerly seeking a plan that suits their needs.
If you’re a residential customer in Illinois, you’re in luck. The state you live in is deregulated, which means that you actually have a say in who supplies your electricity. With retail choice, you can shop around and choose from over 50 different suppliers serving the state of Illinois. But with that many options, it can be overwhelming to start your search for the perfect plan. That’s why we suggest deciding what you want in an electricity plan and which companies can offer it before making your final move.
Deciding to Make the Switch
You already know the negatives you’re running from at the hands of your electric supplier — so let’s look at some positive reasons you might want to switch to a new energy provider. You have a lot to gain by switching and those benefits go far beyond your wallet. When you switch, you’ll want to gain:
A Stable Electricity Rate
This is by far the first concern of most clients who switch energy providers. They’re fed up with the changing kWh price that the utility has been charging and they’re looking for some financial security. The best way to relieve the monthly stress of rate changes is by going with a fixed-rate contract.
A Real Contract Agreement
When you switch to a retail provider, you’ll have a signed contract so you know exactly what you’ve agreed to – the rate, the term of the agreement, any cancellation requirements, and more. Utility rules are determined by regulators in Springfield and you don’t have much say over that. Make that change. Retail choice allows you to choose a company that offers a contract that you’ve agreed to and know the terms of.
Better Customer Service
Nothing is worse than sitting on hold for half an hour when you have a question about your electricity bill. When you switch electricity companies, you have the opportunity to select one that values their customers and makes service their number one priority. A quick test: how easy is it to reach the company to ask questions about what services they offer? How easy is it to sign up? If your experience is favorable, you’re likely to have found a company committed to excellent customer service. That’s a benefit that will keep on serving you throughout the length of your contract.
More Options for Green Energy
Are you interested in supporting local, renewable energy sources? When you’re choosing a new electricity provider, you have the option to go with a company that’s committed to a greener environment. The way this works is that your plan includes Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). Each REC represents 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy (the equivalent of 1,000 kWhs). When you purchase a REC, you’ll want to know if your money is going directly to support local renewable sources! For example, RECs sold by Liberty Power in Illinois represent wind production in the region where you live. If you’ve been wanting to go green with your electricity, switching providers finally gives you your moment.
With those benefits in your back pocket, why wouldn’t you want to switch electricity providers? Take a moment to review your priorities; which features are most important to you and what kind of experience do you want to have with your supplier? This gives you a solid foundation for the next steps in the switching process.
Researching New Companies
Once you’ve decided what features you’d love to see in your new energy provider, it’s time to search for a replacement. With so many energy companies that service the state of Illinois, it can be difficult to find the one you’re looking for. If you don’t already have a recommendation from a friend or neighbor to guide your way through the vast interweb, you could spend hours searching and never see the same company twice.
That’s why we recommend starting with a comparison search engine, like Plug In Illinois. Simply select your utility service area from the drop down menu and begin comparing the plans that are available to you. You can sort the results by company, price per kWh, contract length, and additional fees. You’ll also want to make note of other things that make the offer attractive, like the percentage of green energy or rewards programs.
Find a few electricity plans that look attractive, and then check out their websites. Look at the product information and double-check their rates. Prices change regularly, so you may want to shop around over a period of time. This will help you make sure you’re getting the product you really want and gives you a clearer picture of the company you’ll be dealing with.
How to Change Your Energy Supplier
Have you selected your perfect plan? Now’s the time to make the big switch. And it’s only a few clicks away. How’s that? For instance, if you’re looking to switch from Ameren to Liberty Power, just go to the enrollment page on the Liberty Power website. It’s that simple. Your new supplier will contact your utility company or an old provider to get everything else taken care of behind the scenes, and you won’t have to worry about making multiple calls. Nobody has to come to your home and you don’t have to make an appointment at an office. A few clicks and you’re done!
This step-by-step guide should be helpful to you Illinoisans who are desperate to change your energy supplier. With a little bit of planning and a little web research, you can give yourself the gift of a far more beneficial electricity plan– and that’s what the retail choice system is all about.
Ready to get into the game? Start your search for a new energy provider by contacting Liberty Power. We’ll show you our fixed-rate plans as well as Liberty Green, our renewable offering. We’re sure you’ll find a plan that works for you.