Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=216135
Story Retrieval Date: 10/23/2014 10:49:17 AM CST

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Mayor Emanuel meets with small business owners. A deal was struck with Integrys Energy Services to ensure cheaper rates for residents and business owners.


800,000 Chicago customers switched to new energy supplier

by patrick clarke
Feb 19, 2013


More than 800,000 Chicago households and businesses have been switched from Commonwealth Edison to Integrys Energy Services under the City’s aggregation program.

A deal was struck with Integrys in December, after a bidding process, to secure cheaper rates for Chicagoans. That means $10.2 million, or about $25 in monthly bill savings for the average customer.

The switch also means that power will not be produced by coal.

“Integrys Energy Services will purchase sufficient electricity from non-coal generation assets in amounts equivalent to all usage associated with the City of Chicago’s aggregation program,” said Joanne Weycker, the company’s senior marketing communications coordinator. “With regards to our Chicago contract, we’re buying electricity primarily from natural gas-fired generation facilities.”

“Leading in alternative energies supports the kind of sustainable economic development and cost savings for our homeowners and businesses that we need," the mayor said in a statement when the deal was struck.

Residents can opt out of the deal with Integrys by going to Integrysenergy.com/il-Chicago. They will have the option of sticking with ComEd or choosing another energy supplier.

ComEd will not be financially impacted by the City’s new contract with Integrys, the company said, because it will continue to deliver the electricity to homes and businesses, and respond to outages.

“Our main business is focused on the delivery,” said Martha Swaney, ComEd’s senior communications specialist, said Monday. “We make no profit on the electricity. Even if all of the city of Chicago or if even all of Northern Illinois switches suppliers, all of those customers will remain ComEd customers because we are still delivering the electricity.”

The contract with Integrys ends in 2015.