Understanding the Utility's Electric Supply Price

It is important to understand the utility's electric supply price when shopping for an electric supplier.

In the summer of 2007, the Illinois General Assembly created the Illinois Power Agency (IPA), an independent government agency, to develop and manage a new electric supply procurement process for customers of Ameren Illinois and ComEd. After overseeing the procurement of electric supply, the IPA directs the utilities to enter into wholesale electric supply contracts of various duration to purchase electric supply from different sources.

According to a plan developed by the IPA and approved by the ICC, Ameren Illinois and ComEd purchase the electric supply for customers who have not chosen to receive supply from a Retail Electric Supplier (RES). In the spring of 2015, the IPA will again direct the utilities to purchase electric supply, which will result in new utility electric supply prices for the period June 1, 2015 and beyond. Future IPA-administered electric supply purchases by the utilities are expected to occur each spring. The ICC has the flexibility, however, to approve a plan that would purchase electricity at multiple times during the year, which could mean that charges for utility electric supply could change more than once a year, which could mean that charges for utility electric supply could change more than once a year.

The utilities charge customers for the costs of purchasing electric supply, without any mark-up or profit, based on how much electricity a customer uses monthly. On your monthly Ameren Illinois bill, this charge is shown as "Purch Elec" and on your monthly ComEd bill it is shown as "Electricity Supply Charge". Ameren Illinois and ComEd customers also have the option to participate in utility real time pricing programs in which customers pay electric supply rates that vary by the hour. Like the utility's electric supply price, the utilities charge customers for the costs of purchasing electric supply, without any mark-up or profit, based on how much electricity a customers uses monthly. However, the rate varies based on when the electricity was used.

Your utility bill consists of three separate sections:

  • Electric Supply includes the charges for the actual electricity you are consuming.
  • Transmission Service is the charge for the transmission of that electricity from the generation source to the local distribution system.
  • Distribution Service includes the charges for delivering the electricity to your home or business.

Price to Compare

For a detailed breakdown of ComEd's current electric supply price, see the Price to Compare for ComEd.

For a detailed breakdown of Ameren Illinois' electric supply price, see the Price to Compare for Ameren Illinois.

Previous Prices to Compare: Historic Price to Compare Information for both ComEd and Ameren Illinois.