By Bryan McDaniel
CUB Director of Governmental Affairs
I want to share my experience at a recent CUB utility bill clinic. It underscores why we’re so grateful for your support against rip offs and more than $8 billion in higher rates:
When I’m not in Springfield working for pro-consumer legislation, I like to help out at CUB events. At a clinic in Elgin last week, I sat down with a nice woman (I’ll call her “Paige”) who had to get a ride to the event because she doesn’t have her own car. Paige had braces on her legs, needed information about phones for the hard of hearing, and during the course of the conversation she mentioned her past-due medical bills.
Like all of us, Paige is just trying to navigate life, except her physical ailments and economic standing make her row tougher to hoe.
So after Paige took out her ComEd bill, anger flowed through me as I identified an alternative electric supplier, IDT Energy, that was charging her nearly double for electricity: 13.13 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
She paid the alternative supplier $79 last month—but if she had been on ComEd’s supply rate she would have only paid about $42. So she overpaid by $37. Imagine how those inflated charges add up over a year?
It is simply wrong that many customers of alternative suppliers are being overcharged every time they turn on the light, open the refrigerator door, or charge their cellphone. We have a moral imperative to act. That’s why your loyal support is so vital as we travel the state helping people avoid rip-offs.
Special note from CUB Executive Director David Kolata: Today, Saturday, October 28, a generous group of CUB donors is matching donations. We’re just grateful for your ongoing interest in utility issues, so there’s no obligation for you to give. But if you want to contribute to fighting $8 billion in higher rates, this week donations are being doubled. Thank you!