Frequently Asked Questions

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Changing Electric Suppliers

Customer choice means the ability to choose the company who will supply your electricity. ComEd will still be the company who delivers the electricity provided by the electric supplier you choose.

There are two main components of your electric service: supply (generation and transmission) and delivery (distribution). Delivery refers to the facilities including poles, transformers and wires which carry and distribute the electricity provided by your electric supplier.

Remain with the utility as a bundled customer (supply & delivery) or elect to become a delivery only customer. As a delivery only customer you may purchase the supply portion of your electricity from an Alternative Retail Electric Supplier (ARES) or from another electric utility.

You may choose the company that supplies your electricity based on your own needs and preferences. Those may include how or where the electricity is produced (e.g. environmentally friendly energy), the lowest price, or the best combination of prices, services and incentives.

No. You may choose to change suppliers or do nothing and remain with your utility. Regardless of which company you choose to supply your electricity needs, your utility remains responsible for delivering your electricity and providing reliable delivery service.

What questions should I ask a supplier before making a choice?
You should ask the questions that are important to you. If, for example, you are concerned about the source of your electricity, you should ask how it is produced. If you are interested in billing options, you should get a clear explanation of the options available to you.

Other questions you may wish to ask an alternative supplier to help you make your decision are:

  • What is the supply price (per kWh)?
  • Is the price fixed or variable?
  • If the price is variable, how does it change?
  • Are there any built-in price increases?
  • How long is the contract?
  • Are there restrictions on how much supply you use and when you use it?
  • What types of energy sources are used to produce the supply?
  • How do the energy sources affect the environment?
  • Do you offer a budget plan?
  • Are there fees for signing up?
  • Are there fees for leaving the contract early?
  • Are there other fees?
  • How many bills will I receive?
  • Are there any special programs or customer incentives?

Account and meter numbers allow access to customer usage and billing data and can be used to make changes to your electric service. ComEd treats these numbers as confidential information and recommends all customers to do the same.

If you choose another Retail Electric Supplier (RES), that supplier will be responsible for completing the necessary procedures needed to initiate the switch. You must provide the supplier with a confirmation of switch, which may be in a written, Internet or telephonic format, specifically authorizing the new supplier. Then, the process will start with the supplier submitting a Direct Access Service Request (DASR) on behalf of the customer to the utility.

ComEd supports customer choice, and is working to help create an efficient, competitive and reliable marketplace, as intended by the Illinois General Assembly through the state's 1997 Restructuring Act and subsequent legislation.

Cost and Billing

That depends. You'll need to compare prices for changing suppliers.

The amount you save will depend on how much you currently pay for electricity, how much you use, and the price offered by your chosen electric supplier.

It is possible for the customer to receive separate bills from the utility for delivery and from the Retail Electric Supplier for supply. Or you could receive a single bill for both from the Retail Electric Supplier. The decision whether or not to provide a single bill is up to the supplier.

If you choose another supplier you can expect changes in how you are billed. The charges on an electric bill could include:

  • Supply charge for electricity and transmission.
  • Delivery service charge for distribution service provided by the utility.
  • Customer charge, which is a basic service charge to partially cover the costs of the standard service connection and billing.
  • Meter service charge, which recovers the costs of meter reading and other standard metering services such as installing, removing, exchanging, maintaining, and testing of metering equipment.

 

Retail Electric Suppliers

Retail Electric Suppliers which includes Illinois utilities selling outside their service areas and Alternative Retail Electric Suppliers who are certified by the Illinois Commerce Commission are the entities permitted to sell power to retail Customers.

The ICC must certify an Alternative Retail Electric Supplier. If an electric supplier or local utility fails to provide promised service, the law permits you to file a complaint with the ICC (800) 524-0795 and/or the Illinois Attorney General (312) 814-3000 in Northern Illinois or (217) 782-1090 in Central and Southern Illinois. The ICC will monitor the marketplace and publish on its website the names of companies that fail to provide service in accordance with the terms of their contracts.

An updated list of certified suppliers is available on the Illinois Commerce Commission website at http://www.icc.illinois.gov/.

For Residential Customers: under Residential or by calling ComEd at 1-800-Edison1 (1-800-334-7661).

For Non-Residential Customers: under Non -Residential or by calling ComEd at 1-877-4ComEd1 (1-877-426-6331).

Safety and Reliability

No, ComEd was instrumental in ensuring that the legislation protects the integrity of the electrical system. ComEd and other Illinois utilities will work with regulators and other officials to ensure that consumers can expect continued reliable service. Through the entire transition to the new environment, the quality of the delivery of electric services will be the same regardless of whether it is supplied by ComEd or another supplier.

As a delivery customer, you will still call ComEd about power outages and repairs (delivery refers to the facilities including poles, transformers and wires, which carry and distribute the electricity provided by your electric supplier). If you have questions about the supply portion, you will call your new supplier.

Usage Data

In considering your options with customer choice in Illinois, you may want to obtain additional information about your past billing and usage of electricity. ComEd will supply you with up to 24 months of historical billing and usage data. Two types of data are available:

Summary Data. Up to 24 months of historical billing and usage data, by account, consisting of total kilowatts, kilowatt-hours, billing demand, and dollar amounts. This data is available for all non-residential metered accounts.

Interval Data. Up to 24 months of half-hour demand data for accounts with recording-type meters.

Customer-Signed Written Request Summary or interval data may be obtained by customers or customer agents (including Retail Electric Suppliers) through a customer-signed request. Customer information release and request forms can be found on the Non-Residential page or by calling 1-877-4-ComEd-1. Leave a message with your fax number requesting the release forms.

With the website, authorization will be assumed if the requesting person has a valid account number and associated meter number. However, the information supplied back to the requester will not include customer specific information such as name and address.

If you are concerned that unauthorized individuals may have access to your account number and associated meter number, you may wish to block the release of your billing and usage data from others. To do this, you must call us at 1-877-4-ComEd-1 and indicate that you do not want your data released to anyone. Once an account has been blocked from historical data being released, a written request signed by the customer is needed to remove the block.

There could be two reasons:

This system is only available to non-residential customers. If you enter a residential account number and electronic info is not available, usage data can be obtained by completing the Account Information Release Authorization Form.

The customer may have blocked their usage data.