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Compare Illinois natural gas and electricity rates

At Choose Energy, our reporters seek out information that puts you in control of your energy. Our partners do not direct our editorial content, though we may reference their products in our posts. Read about how we make money to learn more.

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Illinois energy rates

The majority of states offer only one option for energy services: the local utility company. Those living in Illinois, though, have the power to choose. Thanks to deregulation, Illinois residents can select from their utility or from multiple retail suppliers and rate plans. There are several different types of Illinois electricity rates, which means that you can choose the option that works best for your home.

  • Fixed-rate: If you have a fixed-rate plan, your energy supply rates will not change for the life of your plan. Term lengths vary by company, but plans of 12, 24, and 36 months are often available. You may find that the lowest rates are offered only for the longest term. Please note that although your supply rates won’t vary, transmission charges and government fees and taxes can change.
  • Variable-rate: Those who need a short-term plan or are willing to roll the dice on energy prices may prefer a variable-rate structure. This means that your rates are linked to wholesale energy prices and may change month by month.
  • No deposit: Those who don’t have great credit may need to pay a deposit for a traditional variable-rate or fixed-rate plan. However, some suppliers offer no deposit plans that typically work much like prepaid cell phones, though rates are generally higher for these plans.
  • Green energy plans: If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, consider a green energy plan. Rates for some of these plans now match or only slightly exceed those of traditional plans.

Energy deregulation in Illinois

Deregulation came to Illinois in 1997, opening the door for private suppliers to sell power at competitive rates. By 2008, numerous suppliers had entered the Illinois market. Many people are confused by the word deregulation, but it basically means that customers can purchase electricity and natural gas from any of several suppliers in their area – or from their traditional utility. It’s important to carefully compare electric rates in Illinois to make sure you choose the supplier and plan that is right for your household.

Illinois public utilities are overseen by the Illinois Commerce Commission. This is who you can contact if you have any disputes with your supplier that can’t be resolved.

Energy plans in Illinois

Choose Energy provides resources to help you understand what deregulation means for you, as well as the tools you need to make an Illinois electric rates comparison and decide which supplier and rate structure best meets your needs. Here is an overview of some of the most important information you need.

  • How can I switch from my current energy provider? First, find a copy of your latest electric bill. Then go to and enter your ZIP code for a list of suppliers and rate plans in your neighborhood. Compare the current rates listed on your bill to the available rates, choose a plan, and enroll online or over the phone. Your new supplier will take it from there.
  • How do I decide which energy plan is best for me? We know that energy plans aren’t always easy to understand, so we’ve created this guide to help you understand the lingo. Spend a few minutes with our guide, and you will be able to compare the various plans to determine which is right for you.
  • Are deposits required for energy service? Traditional variable-rate and fixed-rate plans often require a deposit unless your credit score is really good. But many suppliers offer no deposit plans, most often prepaid. You will be notified if you approach your usage limit so you can make an additional payment. Keep in mind that these generally have higher rates.
  • What if my energy bill is consistently high? You can follow our tips to help lower your energy usage, but it may not be enough. Instead, consider changing to a different supplier with a lower rate. Be aware that if you are currently on a fixed-rate plan, you may be responsible for an early termination fee (ETF) if you switch before the end of your contract.
  • What should I know about the different types of energy plans? A fixed-rate plan sets your supply rates for the duration of your contract. It’s easier to end your service with a variable-rate plan, but your rates can change based on the often-volatile energy market. Green energy is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, and rates now are more competitive with traditionally sourced plans.
  • What happens if I don’t choose an energy supplier? If you don’t select a retail energy supplier, your supplier will be your local utility company. There are two main utility companies in Illinois: ComEd and Ameren Illinois. Compare your ComEd electric rates or Ameren Illinois electric rates to those offered by retail suppliers to determine if you should switch.

Illinois energy companies

A highly counterintuitive aspect of deregulation is that your chosen retail supplier does not actually deliver your natural gas and electricity to your home. Depending on where you are in the state, either ComEd or Ameren Illinois likely delivers your power, though there are also a few smaller utility companies and cooperatives scattered through the state. Your utility company is also who you will call about an outage since it maintains the infrastructure and power lines.

You cannot choose your utility company, but you can choose your retail supplier. Popular suppliers in Illinois include Direct Energy, Clearview Energy, and Spark Energy. There may be other options in your ZIP code as well. Your supplier will determine your rates and provide your energy service.

Find the right energy plan with Choose Energy

Choose Energy makes it easy to find just the right natural gas and electricity plans. Simply enter your ZIP code to see a list of available retail suppliers and plans. Choose the one that best fits your needs, and then enroll online or over the phone. Your chosen suppliers will be in touch to complete your setup, all without changing meters or dealing with an interruption in service.

Please note: All rates above are accurate as of 7/9/2020 for utility Nicor Gas. Rates may have changed since this date. For the most up to date rates in your area, please enter your zip code here on our natural gas page.

Please note: All rates above are accurate as of 7/9/2020 for utility North Shore Gas. Rates may have changed since this date. For the most up to date rates in your area, please enter your zip code here on our natural gas page.

Please note: All rates above are accurate as of 7/9/2020 for utility Peoples Gas. Rates may have changed since this date. For the most up to date rates in your area, please enter your zip code here on our natural gas page.

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