Compare Illinois Electricity Rates (2023 Best Prices)
Here’s a quick overview of Illinois electricity rates:
- Current average retail rate of electricity: 14.73 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh)
- Current range of electricity prices in Illinois: 5.90 to 17.70 cents per kWh
- Average monthly electric bill: $94.60
- Average energy usage: 721 kWh
Figures accurate as of time of publication.
Each product and or company featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Who Has the Best Energy Rates in Illinois?
Of all of the electric companies that provide renewable energy plans, Eligo Energy provides the lowest rate of 5.90 cents per kWh. You can click below to compare plans and prices from other top Illinois utility companies to see how they stack up against Eligo.
Illinois Energy Rates
Illinois deregulated its energy market back in 1995. Since then, electric customers have had the right to choose their energy supplier and the energy plan that suits their needs best.
Energy deregulation is typically seen as a positive for Illinois residents because it provides more options for electricity and generally drives prices down by promoting competition in the industry. The average cost of electricity in Illinois is 14.73 cents per kWh, but you could pay anywhere from 5.90 cents to 17.70 cents per kWh depending on the supplier you choose.
There are many suppliers in Illinois but only a handful of electric utilities, which are the companies in charge of delivering the power. Your local utility company plays a role in your electricity costs but a much smaller one than your supplier.
Most Illinoisans, including Chicago residents, are serviced by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), but prices can vary if you’re serviced by Ameren Illinois, MidAmerican, or Mt. Carmel Public Utility Co. You can choose your supplier, but you can’t choose your utility company.
Read Also: Electricity Rates in Chicago
Green Mountain Energy
Comparison of Electricity Prices in Illinois
In the table below, we’ll compare electricity prices and plans available to Illinois homeowners, including the required contract term and the set price per kWh. Since EcoWatch is an environmentally-friendly website, we’re only including companies that have renewable energy plans. We’ll explain the benefits of these plans further below.
How to Find the Best Electricity Rates in Illinois
Some consumers simply look for the lowest electricity rate possible and commit without looking at other factors. Generally speaking, this isn’t a great idea, as things like your energy usage and the contract terms included with that rate can affect your long-term costs and satisfaction with your plan. We’ll discuss how these criteria can play a role in choosing the best energy plan for you.
Your Energy Usage
The amount of energy you consume in your home is important because many electric utility companies in Illinois use a tiered rate for charging customers. Tiered rates typically charge higher rates to customers who use below- or above-average amounts of energy each month. The average home in Illinois consumes around 721 kWh per month. If you use well below or above that amount, a tiered plan could be less beneficial for you than it will for other customers.
Another rate structure is time-of-use (TOU), which has an equal rate for all customers based on the time the energy is consumed. According to the Illinois Public Utilities Commission (PUC), off-peak usage comes at a lower rate than during peak hours. The specific hours can vary based on your energy provider. If you tend to use electricity during off-peak hours, a TOU structure could work better for you.
Some energy plans require that you sign a contract to lock into a specific rate for several months or several years. Energy contracts can be beneficial because they guarantee a certain rate regardless of demand, but some customers prefer not to be locked into a single electric company and rate for too long. You should always review your contract term before signing anything.
Additionally, your contract could have sign-up fees, early-termination fees if you cancel your contract early, introductory rates that lead to unavoidable higher rates mid-contract and more. You should also read through your contract’s fine print to ensure you don’t run into any unexpected charges or terms. If you can’t decide which plan is best for you, you can use this tool or the buttons below for guidance.
Types of Electricity Plans in Illinois
Illinois power companies typically offer certain plans with names that can be a bit confusing at times. Below, we’ll explain the different plan types you’re likely to see in IL to help you navigate them a bit more easily.
Fixed-rate plans come with a fixed rate, which means that every kilowatt-hour you consume while the plan is active will cost the same predetermined amount. We typically recommend fixed-rate plans for all customers, as they provide peace of mind and allow you to avoid rate spikes in case of increased demand, times of crisis or low electric supply.
Fixed-rate plans help you budget more accurately, but they do come with some potential downsides. They require a contract and often include early termination fees if you cancel your agreement early. Fixed-rate plans also guarantee a specific rate, so they could end up costing you more than a variable-rate plan if local energy prices drop during your contract term.
|Pros of a Fixed-Rate Energy Plan||Cons of a Fixed-Rate Energy Plan|
|They make budgeting simple||They require contracts and often come with early-cancellation fees|
|They guarantee a set electricity price for the entire contract term||They could be more costly than variable-rate plans if local energy prices drop|
As you might have guessed based on the name, variable-rate plans don’t have a fixed per-kWh rate. Your rate can change on a daily basis — or less often, in most cases — based on the local energy prices. Variable-rate plans don’t provide the same peace of mind that fixed-rate plans do, as rates could skyrocket unexpectedly due to increased demand or low energy supply.
However, variable-rate plans have upsides. First, they give you the opportunity to save money if local energy rates are low. Second, they don’t require contracts, which means you can switch to a different supplier or plan — including a fixed-rate option — at any time. Since there are no contracts, there are also no early termination fees.
|Pros of a Variable-Rate Energy Plan||Cons of a Variable-Rate Energy Plan|
|There’s the potential to enjoy energy savings if the local electricity price dips||You could experience unexpected spikes in electricity rates|
|No contracts, which also means no early-cancellation fees.||You might end up spending more than you would with a fixed-rate plan if local energy prices increase|
No-Deposit and Prepaid Energy Plans
Many energy plans require an up-front deposit, which is used by energy companies to mitigate the risk of non-paying customers. If you can pass a credit check to confirm you’re likely to make payment, you can save some money on sign-up fees by choosing a no-deposit plan from your retail electric supplier.
Another option to limit up-front costs is a prepaid plan. These plans allow you to put money into an energy account which then gets debited based on the energy you use. These plans let you maintain complete control over the total you spend on electricity, but you have to remember to top up your account. If you don’t, you might experience power outages.
|Pros of a Prepaid Energy Plan||Cons of a Prepaid Energy Plan|
|Minimal upfront costs||You can lose power if you fail to put money into the account|
|You have complete control over your energy spending||Many prepaid plans have a slightly higher per-kWh rate than other options|
|No contracts or early termination fees|
Green Energy Plans
Green energy plans provide energy produced entirely from renewable energy sources, including solar and wind. As a website devoted to bettering the environment and limiting pollution and global warming, we strongly recommend everyone choose a 100%-renewable energy plan. These allow you to support the global clean energy movement without having to spend thousands on solar panels for your home. Green energy plans can also be fixed-rate or variable-rate, and some are prepaid as well.
Illinois has a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal of producing at least 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and 50% by 2040.1 The state might incentivize switching to green energy plans to reach these goals, which would mean that the plans might become more readily available and affordable in the near future.
|Pros of a Green Energy Plan||Cons of a Green Energy Plan|
|You can support renewable energy without a major up-front investment||Clean energy plans can be an average of 1 to 2 cents higher per kWh than standard plans|
|You can help the environment and lower your carbon footprint||There are fewer plan options available|
Business Energy Plans
Business energy plans are designed specifically for commercial customers and aren’t available to residential electric customers. These plans assume that customers will have higher energy needs, and they set rates accordingly. Business energy plans are far less prevalent than residential ones, so you might have to do some digging to find companies that offer them.
Electricity Companies and Providers in Illinois
Thanks to energy deregulation, Illinois homeowners have an electric choice, which means they can choose the energy supplier that suits their needs best rather than being subject to a single energy supplier and a set rate. While deregulation is great news for homeowners, it also means choosing an electric supplier can be challenging. Below are some of our top-rated energy companies in Illinois, which we recommend to most homeowners.
- Positive online reviews
- Green energy plans available
- Fixed-rate contracts
- Excellent online customer reviews
- 100% renewable energy plan options
- Fixed-rate contracts available
- Low introductory rates
- Green energy plans offered
- Generally positive online reviews
- 100% renewable energy plans offered
- Fixed-rate contracts available
- Positive customer reviews
What to Look For When Choosing an Electricity Provider
Some electric customers make the mistake of choosing an electric supplier based solely on the per-kWh rate, but there are many other factors you should think about before choosing one. We’ll discuss some additional considerations you should make below.
- Plan Options: One of the easiest ways to narrow down which suppliers will work for you is to decide which type of energy plan you want and focus your search accordingly. We recommend fixed-rate plans, but other options might appeal more to you specifically.
- Energy Source: Illinois’s electric utilities offer plans that use fossil fuels like coal and natural gas to produce energy, but some also offer 100%-renewable energy plans. We strongly recommend choosing a green energy plan to reduce your contribution to pollution and global warming.
- Electricity Rates: The cost of electricity will always be a priority for consumers. Plans with a lower per-kWh rate will typically be better, although the other factors discussed here should have a significant impact on your decision as well.
- Contract Details: You should first look for the contract term and decide if the plan you’re considering meets your needs. Longer contracts typically come with lower energy rates but lock you into a specific price for longer. You should also read the fine print for introductory rates, early-termination fees, sign-up fees and more.
- Customer Reviews: We recommend reading through some positive and negative reviews of an electric supplier before committing. Online reviews often give you an unbiased look into the experience you can expect when choosing an energy supplier.
- Company History: Finally, a company’s history can make a difference in your overall experience, although it rarely affects the price. Companies with longevity typically have more resources, which means they can provide better customer care and faster response times to billing inquiries and other issues.
FAQ: Illinois Electricity Plans
At EcoWatch, we’re thrilled to get questions regularly from Illinois residents asking how to find the best energy plans for them. Below, we’ll answer some of the most common questions we see from homeowners in your area.
Among the energy suppliers that offer 100% renewable energy plans, Eligo Energy has the lowest per-kWh option by far. The average rate for electricity in Illinois is 14.73 cents per kWh, but Eligo Energy’s Green Variable plan provides electricity for just 5.90 cents per kWh.
There is no single energy provider in Illinois that will appeal equally to every electric customer. Some providers offer energy plans that are perfect for some customers but don’t meet other customers’ needs at all. With that in mind, Clearview Energy is our top-rated electric supplier in Illinois. This company has outstanding customer reviews, offers 100% renewable energy plans, and remains relatively affordable throughout Illinois.
Since Illinois has a deregulated energy market, one of the easiest ways to lower your monthly utility bills is to choose an electric provider with a lower per-kWh rate. The average price per kWh in Illinois is 14.73 cents, but choosing your own company could get that price down to as low as 5.90 cents per kWh. This would lead to immediate and substantial savings. You can use this EcoWatch tool to find the best plan for your needs and budget.
Additionally, improving your home’s energy efficiency can lower your energy bill and help reduce your carbon footprint. Some things you can do to make your home more energy efficient include installing a smart thermostat, updating your light bulbs to energy-efficient options and updating your windows, doors and insulation to more efficient options.
There is no universally ideal energy plan in Illinois, and the one that works best for you might not be suitable for other homeowners. Ultimately, you should consider factors like your monthly energy consumption, the type of energy plan you want, the contract term of the plan and more. If you’re unsure where to start, we recommend looking at the 100%-renewable energy plans from Clearview Energy, SmartEnergy, Eligo Energy and AEP Energy.