Since its inception in 1984, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) has saved Illinois consumers more than $20 billion by fighting proposed electricity, natural gas and telephone rate hikes.
In fact, for every dollar CUB has raised during that time, it has yielded roughly $300 in savings—a dramatic return on investment that represents one more reason why the St. Louis Post-Dispatch praised CUB as the “gold standard” of consumer advocates.
Below are some of CUB’s biggest victories over the years.
Rate Cases: $92 million in savings. In 2015, CUB’s legal team beat back roughly $61 million in Peoples Gas/North Shore Gas rate-hike requests and defeated about $14 million in Ameren rate hikes. The team also helped to increase a ComEd rate cut by $17 million (to a total of $67 million).
Refunds: $570,000 in savings. CUB’s legal team worked with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and the Illinois Attorney General’s office to help negotiate $570,000 in refunds for customers of two alternative power suppliers, Nordic Energy and Major Energy. The companies had been accused of misleading marketing.
CUB Energy Saver: $373,700 in savings. This year, more than 3,900 thrifty Illinoisans joined CUB Energy Saver, CUB’s free tool that builds a customized money-saving plan for your home and rewards participants for cutting kilowatt-hours. The service saved users a total of $373,700 in 2015.
CUB events: $250,000 in savings. CUB’s Outreach team helped host nearly 500 events, including a record 60 events in August. The 10-member team helped show consumers how to save an estimated $250,000 in 2015 by analyzing utility bills, handing out energy-efficient light bulbs, and signing people up for efficiency programs.
Consumer advocacy: $30,000 in savings. CUB’s Consumer Advocacy team fielded almost 8,000 inquiries/complaints and generated more than $30,000 in savings by advocating for consumer rights, spotting billing errors and securing refunds.
Victories in Springfield. Amid deadlock in Springfield, CUB successfully pushed the General Assembly to approve a $50 cap on alternative supplier exit fees. We also were part of a successful campaign to veto Senate Bill 1421, which could have forced Illinois water customers to pay for services they never receive. Additionally, CUB and other consumer advocates battled Exelon to a standstill, helping to stall legislation that would have added up to $1.6 billion in new fees to Ameren and ComEd power bills.
Major Victories Over the Years
- Centel refund/rate cut, 1986: $2,000,000
- Blocked Nicor Gas rate hike, secured refund, 1987: $40,000,000
- Peoples/North Shore Gas rate cut/refund, 1987: $27,000,000
- ComEd rate deal rejected, 1987: $1,320,000,000
- Overturned ComEd rate hike, 1987: $245,000,000
- Illinois Power rate deal blocked, 1988: $3,000,000,000
- ComEd rate deal overturned, 1989: $750,000,000
- ComEd rate case settlement, 1993: $1,679,000,000
- Ameritech rate cut, 1994: $465,000,000
- 10-year rate cut under electric restructuring law, 1997: $6,288,124,185
- ComEd customer assistance fund, 2000: $400,000
- CILCO refund, 2001: $20,400,000
- Ameritech merger savings settlement credit, 2002: $224,000,000
- Verizon merger savings settlement credit, 2003: $139,686,512
- Blocked ComEd/IP merger/rate-hike legislation, 2003: $2,000,000,000
- SBC voicemail class action settlement, 2004: $40,000,000
- Cut ComEd rate hike, 2005: $262,455,000
- Peoples Gas/Enron refund, 2006: $100,000,000
- Cut Peoples/North Shore Gas rate hike, 2007: $32,267,000
- Cut Ameren electric rate hike, 2007: $58,342,000
- Cut ComEd rate hike, 2007: $87,761,000
- Ameren/ComEd refunds after power auction abolished, 2007: $1,001,000,000
- Cut Nicor Gas rate hike,2008: $72,237,000
- Cut Ameren gas/electric rate hike, 2009: $118,618,000
- Cut Peoples/North Shore Gas rate hike, 2009: $58,717,000
- Cut ComEd rate hike, 2010: $218,793,000
- Illinois Power Agency procurement savings, 2009-11: $1,639,663,226
- Cut Peoples/North Shore Gas rate hike, 2011: $61,504,000
- Cut Peoples/North Shore Gas rate hike, 2012: $40,920,000
- Nicor Gas refund, 2013: $72,149,519
Total savings: $20.065 billion