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Electric vehicles taking Chicagoans to O’Hare in 12 minutes

Can Chicago-area residents cut down their airport travel time to a measly 12 minutes? That may soon be a reality according to Tesla creator and super-entrepreneur Elon Musk. Musk met with Mayor Rahm Emanuel last week to discuss plans of a high-speed electric vehicle (EV) system that could take travelers…...

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Generous CUB supporters are matching your donations

This week, some generous CUB supporters are matching your donations. So giving $10 is more like giving $20! Two major cases could raise our electric bills: The White House is considering an unprecedented 2-year bailout of failing coal plants—a drastic move that could cost consumers billions of dollars. Giant power…...

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Solar job training in Marion, IL

Thanks to the Future Energy Jobs Act, solar job training is thriving in Marion, Illinois. Partnering with Elevate Energy, GRID Alternatives, Another Energizing Solar Installation and Advanced Energy Solutions, Williamson County’s Habitat for Humanity recruited 10 trainees from Lutheran Social Services to get a head start on some of the…...

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Anatomy of a Bad Deal

When Robert Smith’s gas bills suddenly shot up, he was confused. He was supposed to be paying less for gas with alternative gas supplier Energy Rewards than with the regulated utility in his area, Nicor. So he sat down to compare what he had been paying with Energy Rewards to…...

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Tell big TV companies: Be truthful with your customers!

Big companies like AT&T and Comcast like to jack up our TV/internet bills by slapping us with sneaky fees. These add-ons have official-sounding names like “regional sports fee” or “broadcast TV surcharge,” but don’t be fooled: These are NOT government charges! These company-imposed fees allow big corporations to hide the true…...

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Eco-friendly green gadgets for summer

As we ease into summer, the warm months ahead are a great opportunity to incorporate some “cool” eco-friendly items into your routine. Here are some green gadgets that will sustain you–and the environment–all summer. Smartphone sprinkler systems The Green IQ Smart Sprinkler allows you to control how your lawn is…...

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Low supplier rates don’t guarantee big savings

Consumers sometimes enroll with alternative suppliers because the rates appear lower than the regulated utility, but be careful that such plans could have an additional monthly fee. Every week, I update fact sheets listing alternative supplier prices, compared with the the rates of regulated utilities. By my count, about a…...

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Tell the White House: no bailouts for failing nuclear and coal plants

President Trump is considering a bailout of struggling nuclear and coal plants across the country to prevent a (non-existent) “grid emergency”. If the plan goes through, parts of the power sector would be nationalized for the next two years. For consumers, that means possibly paying billions of dollars more to prop…...

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Save water and money with Chicago’s MeterSave program

The City of Chicago offers residential single-family and two-flat homeowners the option of having a water meter installed to help them save water–and money–through the MeterSave program. Water bills in homes without meters are tied to to various factors, from building size to number of plumbing fixtures. But with a water…...

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Big drop in Ameren power price

Good news: Ameren Illinois’ power price is going DOWN significantly June 1. As a watchdog that fought for market reforms, CUB is pleased that the hard work of consumer advocates is paying off. Bad news: Ameren has proposed two rate hikes for 2019. Please, read about Ameren’s lower electricity price, and, if you haven’t already,…...

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