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Chicago’s looming disaster?

Did you know that last winter, you paid 80 percent more for natural gas service, on average, than your friends and relatives in the suburbs? And a big reason appears to be the mismanaged Peoples Gas pipe-replacement program. That’s what Crain’s Chicago Business reported in a recent story with this ominous…...

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CUB reacts to Gov. Rauner signing HB 4508, bad water bill

Statement by Bryan McDaniel, CUB’s Director of Governmental Affairs: We are disappointed that the General Assembly passed and, now, Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed House Bill 4508. CUB fought vigorously to improve this bill, arguing that customers of Illinois American Water and Aqua Illinois should not be forced to finance…...

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CUB, consumer team up to land $200 AT&T credit

Schaumburg resident and CUB member Richard Hetzer has been an AT&T customer for more than 50 years. While service hasn’t always been the best—with phones and internet sometimes going out four or five times in a month—Richard remained a customer. But recently, he had to go to great lengths to…...

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“Vampire power” could be to blame for your high electric bill

Turning your electronics off when you’re not using them seems like a simple way to cut down on your power bill. But that won’t stop “standby power,” a.k.a. vampire power. Think about your toaster, coffee maker, televisions, desktop computers and DVRs. You may leave these devices off for periods of time, but…...

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Special Report: Are green plans really green?

A lot of alternative electricity suppliers like to pitch “green plans.” “We make sure all your home’s energy … comes from 100% clean wind and solar power,” proclaims one supplier’s website. But let’s go beyond the marketing pitches. Signing up for a “green” or “renewable energy” plan does NOT mean…...

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Take robocall fight to congress

A thousand Illinoisans signed last week’s petition urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to fight robocall scams. Thank you! While we have momentum, we need to hit this issue on multiple fronts. Let’s remind Congress that we’re tired of being bombarded with billions of robocalls, including scams that rob us…...

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Consumer doesn’t give up against bad gas deal, gives big thanks to CUB

Like many Illinois consumers, John Van Hattem had second thoughts after he enrolled with an unregulated gas supplier that came to his door. John called the company—Illinois Gas & Electric—to cancel, only to hear a recorded message saying, “…the issue is with your local gas utility company.” Next, he called…...

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Update: Fight robocall scams

We’ve got bad news about the ongoing battle against annoying telemarketing calls: Just last month U.S. homes were hit with a record number of robocalls: 4.1 billion, according to the call-blocking software firm YouMail. Many are scams: Consumer Reports says robo-fraudsters cost people an estimated $350 million in 2011 alone. In…...

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Robocalls on the rise: tips on stopping phony callers

We asked people on Facebook if they get a lot of robocalls, and boy did we get an earful! “I get an average of 35-40 a week. Insanity!” wrote Kathleen. “I’ve had a zillion on my cellphone, all from different areas of the country, all about buying insurance,” added Susabelle.…...

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Grim statistic: Record losses for supplier customers

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) recently reported that over the past year, customers of alternative electric suppliers lost a record $227.6 million, compared with what they would have paid with the regulated utilities, ComEd or Ameren. The electric market is in need of reform—but energy giants, like Exelon and Vistra,…...

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