Energy Deregulation: Pros & Cons

Updated on March 14, 2012
M.W. asks from Oswego, IL
6 answers

Can anyone share with me their personal experience with Ambit or any other deregulation energy company? Did they offer you a.low energy rate that later increased and you ended up with a huge bill? Did you switch back to your original energy source and pay a fee for the switch? Any background you can share will be very appreciated.

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answers from St. Louis on

I know they put a ceiling on Ameren Illinois a while ago and although the rates were low they weren't maintaining the grid so there were a lot more outages on that side of the river. I am Ameren UE or the Missouri side. :)

That is the problem when regulations cause the lower rates, something has to give. When it comes from utilities it tends to be the grid that suffers. I have been in this house for 20 years and have lost power 10 times and only once was that longer than three hours. That is a well maintained grid and I am more than happy to pay for it.

We still have a house in Peoria Il, it is half the size of this house and the utility bills are the same. That was what happened when the regulation ended and they had the ability to upgrade the grid. I heard the bills more than doubled.

Can you tell I don't like utility regulation.....just don't get me started on Southwestern Bell AKA AT&T. :p

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answers from Chicago on

I had someone come to my door wanting me to switch from nicor to their company (which I can't remember the name of now, but it wasn't ambit.. unless they changed their name?) It ended up being about $50 more a month, which turned out to be their own fee to administrate the account! I thought i had a contract with them so I didn't switch back at first, but I did switch back and now my bills are back to $35 thank GOD, that's the only bill in my life that didn't go up in the last few years!

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answers from Las Vegas on

I watched some of this on our recent commission meeting. I didn't watch the whole thing, but I remember them saying you should average your highest bills so you don't end up with poor expectations.

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answers from Chicago on

I've been an Ambit customer (and consultant) for almost a year, and my bill has definitely been lower.

Depending on which plan you choose, you can save up to 18.7% on the electricity supply portion of your bill. Gas savings are at least 5% the first 2 months and then at least 1% each month after that. Not as much as electricity, but that's still money in your pocket.

If you became an Ambit customer, nothing would change for you. ComEd and/or Nicor would still be the ones reading your meter and sending your bill. The only difference is that your bill would be cheaper. There's no cost to switch and with Ambit--unlike some other companies--you can switch back to ComEd/Nicor or cancel at any time without penalty (even if you choose the 12 month fixed rate plan). NONE of our plans have cancellation or early termination fees. I think that's one of the disadvantages of some of the other companies...cancellation fees.

Other advantages Ambit offers includes the travel rewards and potential to earn free gas and/or electricity through our referral program. Ambit also has a really great customer service team in case you have any issues.

Please feel free to send me a personal message if you have any other questions.

J. (or you can check out my website:

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answers from Chicago on

We have been with Ambit energy for a couple years. I think our bills have been a little cheaper. Definitely cheaper than our Com Ed bill! Com Ed is outrageous. We are thinking of switching to the other company instead.

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answers from Chicago on

Call Com Ed about their *real time pricing*, you will save a lot. Also try to run your big electric appliances in the evening, when electric is cheaper. It's all abut the grid, you don't want to have power outages. These smaller companies are working like spectators like in our oil industry.

Next question: Illinois Residents -- Anyone Replace ComEd with One of the New Energy Companies?