ComEd Gets Some ComPetition

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 7, 2011 7:40PM

2011_2_14_comed.jpg Can we step out on a limb for a moment and proclaim our hatred of ComEd? Of all the local utility providers, they're the ones who've given us the most hassle over the years. The 19 percent rate hike ComEd enacted last June didn't help matters (even though the rates went down in January). Lately, though, there seems to be a marketing battle brewing for our electric bill dollar. Currently, five different companies are vying for the services of ComEd's 3.4 million residential customers, hoping that the promise of lower electrical rates (not to mention consumer frustration with the ComEd) will lead to some competition in the marketplace. But like all offers that promise savings, it's probably to your benefit to do some comparison shopping before you decide to kick ComEd to the curb, or stick with the devil you know.

The fine folks at Citizens Utility Board helpfully point out that ComEd's competitors require consumers to sign up for a minimum length contract that, over their lengths, may not save you any money long term. This breakdown from CUB of the various rate offers shows a penalty if a customer decides to opt out of the contract early.

Citizens Utility Board

Another thing to consider is that ComEd's rates are set to decrease even further come June. Whether they come down to rates comparable to the other utility companies is undetermined. But Comed also isn't demanding a minimum length contract, nor are they penalizing customers who decide to switch.

Finally, ComEd's competitors are getting their electricity from the ComEd power grid, indicating that much of the savings they advertise are being made up for with the contract penalties is one decides to leav and return to ComEd, or switch to another provider.