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Since 2002, Illinois energy customers have had the ability to pick their energy supplier. But effectively switching energy suppliers is complicated. The process requires residents to understand the market, monitor fluctuating energy rates, find a supplier, and navigate lengthy contracts before making a switch.

The process is so complex, large companies hire agents or brokers to handle the process for them. But most people simply don’t have the time to do this kind of research. That’s why we developed Smart Rate — to simplify the process and do the hard work for you.

Smart Rate monitors the energy market to find you, and the thousands of other Arcadia members in Illinois, a better deal on energy. When a better rate is found, we send you the details and give you the opportunity to opt-out. If you do not, we handle all the paperwork and switch you over to the new supplier seamlessly and without any interruption in your service.

The Price to Compare = the standard utility rate

We know that this process means you have to trust us, and so we are rigorous in our commitment to our members. We only make the switch if we think we can do better than the standard default service available through your utility. In Illinois, this standard utility rate is called the “Price to Compare” and is not set by us. But you can always find it on the Illinois Commerce Commission website.

In Illinois, we search for deals for our customers that we believe will perform better than the Price to Compare over the life of the contract. If an alternative energy supplier cannot do better than this price, we don’t want them to serve you (and you shouldn’t either!). The Price to Compare can change over time, though, and is not always predictable.

December marks two years since we negotiated our first Smart Rate deal for our Illinois members. As your energy advocate, we take your trust very seriously and remain committed to the highest standards of transparency. So, we thought it was an appropriate time to reflect on how we did. In the last two years, we’ve brokered 4,451 unique customers in eight different batches. Each batch represents a deal that we predicted would perform better than the Price to Compare. The chart below shows how those eight deals have performed.

Aside from a short period in the summer of 2019, our customers never paid more than the Price to Compare. Even better, since we know the Price to Compare through May 2020 and we only enroll customers in fixed-price contracts, we are confident those savings will continue into next year.

We will keep sharing analyses like this with you on a regular basis so you can feel confident in your Arcadia membership. In the meantime, you can always check on your current rate, how it compares to the utility’s, and your savings overtime on your Arcadia dashboard. And, if you like what you see, please refer a friend. Because as our community grows, so does our ability to negotiate better rates on your behalf.

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Richard Caperton

Richard Caperton is the Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs at Arcadia Power. Follow him on Twitter at: @richardcaperton

Washington, DC