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ComEd rates to drop over summer, jump afterward

Electricity prices in northern Illinois are set to fall over the summer this year, with utility company Commonwealth Edison introducing a summer relief program, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

Despite the lower electricity rates for the next few months, however, an unusual set of circumstances could mean much higher costs as soon as this October.

Illinois legislators chose in 2008 to lock in a large proportion of electricity usage, despite high electricity rates and slowly rising interesting in electricity deregulation. This will mean as much as a 9 percent increase in electricity prices by next January.

These power contracts are set to expire next June, potentially leading to lower electricity rates. However, with power prices falling at the moment, more residents and businesses are taking the opportunity to compare electricity rates and finding lower prices from retail electricity provider. This could serve to push up prices even higher.

According to Plug In Illinois, as many as 411,000 residents in Illinois have chosen to switch electricity providers, up dramatically since electricity deregulation was first opened up to residents in 2007, and even from only a few years ago.