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Best Illinois Electricity Companies

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by Jonathan Trout ConsumerAffairs Research Team

Illinois became a deregulated state for large and industrial businesses in 1997 and a fully deregulated state in 2008. This means if you’re a resident or a business owner in Illinois, you have a choice in which electricity supplier you use.

Learn about the different rates, plans, features and customer oriented programs each company offers. This will help you choose which Illinois electric provider best fits your needs.

Compare Reviews for Top Illinois Electricity Companies

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Direct Energy
Read 1393 Reviews

One of North America's largest providers of electricity, natural gas and other home services for residents and businesses throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada. In Texas, their 4 plans start at 11.7 cents per kWh for 36 months.

Champion Energy Services
Read 339 Reviews

Offers electricity to residents and businesses throughout several Texas cities including Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, Houston and Abilene. Their 3 plans start at 10.2 cents per kWh for 12 months.

Spark Energy Gas and Electricity
Read 683 Reviews

Offers electricity and gas to residents and businesses throughout 19 states, including Texas. With over 11 plans to choose from, pricing starts at 13.9 cents per kWh for 18 months.

Santanna Energy Services
Read 389 Reviews

For over 28 years, Santanna Energy has provided energy services to thousands of companies and residential customers. It offers competitive prices to residential and commercial customers across Illinois and the Midwest.

Ambit Energy
Read 482 Reviews

Ambit Energy provides energy solutions in deregulated markets throughout the nation. Based in Dallas, it is marketed through over 250,000 independent consultants and offers cost-effective choices for energy consumers.

Constellation (formerly MXEnergy)
Read 70 Reviews

Constellation, formerly MXEnergy, provides electric, natural gas and renewable energy services to residential, business and government clients in the contiguous United States. They are owned by Exelon, an energy holding company.

ComEd
Read 45 Reviews

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) provides electricity to around 3.8 million customers in Illinois. It is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, which is a leading energy supplier in the United States.

Energy Plus
Read 165 Reviews

A subsidiary of NRG Energy, Energy Plus was founded on and operates on the idea that customers deserve more from their energy supplier. It offers customers different pricing options, green options and rewards.

Energy me
Read Expert Review

Energy Me provides electricity supply products and services to a select market of deregulated states including Illinois. It provides residential and commercial energy solutions through customized packages.

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Common questions when choosing an Illinois electricity company

What are your rate and plan options?

Living in a deregulated state like Illinois gives you options when it comes to choosing an electricity supplier. Many independent suppliers help you save money by giving you a choice between multiple plans. Understanding the difference in each rate plan type will make sure you choose the best option for your home or business.

  • Fixed rates: Fixed-rate electricity plans keep your electricity bill the same for the duration of your contract or term. A term is typically three to 36 months with penalties for breaking your contract. Fixed-rate plans keep you from having to pay more if the price of electricity rises. However, if the price of electricity falls, you’ll be stuck paying your fixed price.
  • Variable rates: With a variable rate plan, the price of electricity fluctuates with the market price, but there are no long-term contracts or penalties. These plans tend to be cheaper than fixed plans, and you can switch to another Illinois electricity provider at any time.
  • Customizable plans: Many independent electricity suppliers in Illinois and elsewhere let you customize a plan for your small business. These plans are tailored for each business based on size, location and energy use. This maximizes your bottom line and saves you money on your energy bill.

What types of energy do Illinois electric companies use?

Illinois electric companies use multiple types of energy sources. Depending on the source, electricity can be either renewable or nonrenewable. The natural resources that create electricity are typically nonrenewable.  Ask each company what type of energy they use when you’re shopping for an independent company.

  • Renewable energy: Wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower are all renewable energy sources. This means they can be replenished in a short amount of time. Many electricity companies are switching to renewable energy sources to reduce pollution.
  • Nonrenewable energy: Nonrenewable energy comes from sources like coal, petroleum and natural gas. These resources will run out and won’t be replenished in our lifetime.

How do electric companies promote sustainability?

Many electric companies in deregulated states like Illinois use sustainable business practices, programs and donations. Some offer ways for you to use renewable energy resources to power your small business or home. They’ll also team up with you to provide renewable energy to others.

  • Independent foundations: Independent foundations like the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation offer grants to energy providers and nonprofits who use or want to switch to using sustainable energy.
  • Donations: Some independent electric companies in Illinois and elsewhere allow you to donate money to provide solar energy to non-profits. Look for each company’s sustainability programs on their website.
  • Paperless billing: Almost all electric companies offer a paperless billing option. Going paperless can save thousands of dollars each year, which can translate to a lower cost for you.

What convenient features do electric companies use?

Illinois electric companies offer many convenient features to help you easily manage your account and services.

  • Manage services online: Most companies in Illinois let you log in to your account and set up a time and date to start, stop or transfer services. Having the ability to do this online prevents you from being on hold with the electric company’s customer service department.
  • Automatic bill pay: You can set up automatic bill pay with your electric company. This lets you pay your bills by having the amount auto-drafted out of a selected bank account.
  • Power outage reporting: Some companies in Illinois allow you to report a power outage via a mobile app. They also show maps with current outages and estimated repair times and can notify you when power is on or off with a text alert.

How do electric companies provide customer service?

Electricity companies with a responsive customer service department make getting your issues resolved less of a hassle. Many companies in Illinois and elsewhere use technology for customer service. Features like live chat and social media help keep you informed.

  • Live chat: Live chat software makes connecting with customers quick and convenient. Using live chat prevents you from having to call a customer service number and waste time on hold.
  • Active social media: Illinois electric companies who actively engage with you on social media and post relevant information like current power outages and repair times on their live feed making staying informed easy.

What types of rewards can you earn with your electric company?

Some independent electricity providers in Illinois offer rewards programs for paying your bill on time. Rewards points are earned per kilowatt hour you use or from referring friends and family. They can be redeemed in multiple ways.

  • Travel rewards: Some companies let you redeem rewards points for things like free flights or travel packages. You can check out a full list of travel packages with their point values on the company's website. Packages include spa or golf getaways, cruises and other vacation packages.
  • Statement credit: Sometimes called “Free energy” programs, statement credit programs allow you to earn money back on your statement by referring friends and family. Statement credit is typically based on the average daily energy cost of your referral customers from previous invoices.
  • Retail bonuses: Some companies in Illinois let you redeem your rewards points towards retail gift cards. Cards are available for specific point values on their website.

What are the different types of electricity companies?

Electricity suppliers

Sometimes called electricity providers, electricity suppliers generate your electricity. Suppliers in deregulated states like Illinois offer competitive prices and more renewable energy options than local companies.

Electric utility

Utility companies build and maintain power line networks across Illinois. Suppliers use these networks to provide power to homes and businesses.

Who uses electricity companies?

Homeowners

As an Illinois resident, you may find that switching your electricity provider to an independent supplier can save you quite a bit on your annual energy costs.

Business owners

As an Illinois business owner, you can switch to an electricity provider that offers tailored, customizable electric plans. This will help you save money on your company’s energy bill.

People switching to renewable energy

Many electricity providers in deregulated states like Illinois offer renewable energy alternatives like wind and solar power. Find a company that works with a renewable energy company to properly assess and install any new solar systems.

Expert reviews for Illinois electricity companies

Santanna Energy Services

As an independent energy provider, Santanna Energy Services has been offering Illinois and other Midwestern states electricity services for over 28 years. Its competitive prices give homeowners and business owners another option to consider when thinking about saving on their monthly utility bills.

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Constellation (formerly MXEnergy)

Constellation is an independent energy supplier for Illinois and throughout the United States. It offers residential customers, small business owners, commercial and industrial companies and government agencies electricity, gas and solar solutions. It serves 2.5 million customers, including two-thirds of Fortune 100 companies, and gives back to communities across the nation.

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Ambit Energy

Ambit Energy got its start in 2006 and continues to offer cost-effective choices for energy consumers in deregulated markets. It has won numerous awards, including J.D. Power and Associates’ number one most positive recommendations.They have over one million active customers.

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ComEd

ComEd provides electricity to approximately 3.8 million customers in Illinois, which is around 70 percent of the state's population. It has been recognized for its contributions to the community and industry, including an Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award and the EEI Safety Achievement Award.

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Energy Plus

Energy Plus believes that customers deserve more from their energy supplier. As an Energy Plus customer, you can choose from multiple plans that fit your individual needs, including a green energy option using wind power. You can also earn rewards like free flights, cash back and retail bonuses for paying your bill.

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Energy me

Energy Me shares the common goal of improving your bottom line by offering customizable product packages, flexible contract terms and easy to understand energy solutions. It offers plans to residents and businesses in Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

  • Residential services: Energy Me offers multiple home service plans for each service area, including fixed rate plans and a variety of contract term lengths. Having the ability to customize a rate plan saves you money and prevents your energy bill from fluctuating.
  • Custom plans for your business: Energy Me can tailor a custom energy plan for your business. An energy advisor will perform a thorough walk-through of your location to determine what kind of electrical output you need.
  • LED retrofit: Energy Me helps your business cut lighting expenses by an average of 75 percent by using LED light retrofitting. It partners with high-quality manufacturers to install a quality and ongoing LED lighting retrofit service. You can get a free LED lighting assessment by filling out your company name and basic information, including industry type and average amount spent on electricity per month.
  • FAQs: Energy Me has an extensive FAQ page answering common questions regarding your bill, LED retrofitting and each state's rules and regulations.
  • Best for: energy customers in Energy Me’s service states who want competitive pricing for their electrical services.
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Profile picture of Jonathan Trout
Jonathan Trout ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Jonathan Trout believes having access to free, comprehensive information on products and businesses is vital to making smart purchasing decisions. He focuses his efforts on researching and reviewing multiple brands across a variety of industries, with the goal of writing unbiased buyers guides to help inform consumers on impending purchases.