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Illinois businesses seeing major savings from comparing electricity rates

As more people in Illinois look to save money on electricity bills, changes made to the electricity deregulation rules in 2007 are making it much easier to compare electricity providers, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

For many years after the implementation of electricity deregulation, many residents and businesses simply did not bother comparing electricity rates, assuming they would not gain much. Now Crain's suggests that anyone should be able to save at least 10 percent on electricity rates with just a modest amount of comparison shopping.

Wayne Adamczyk, who owns a dozen McDonald's franchises around the Chicago area managed to save even more than that, moving from a long-term contract negotiated through McDonald's to a retail electricity provider.

Over the first six months, his franchises saved 21 percent on electricity bills, and now Adamczyk helps other McDonald's owners deal with energy costs.

Smaller business owners have seen benefits as well. Glen Ellyn told Crain's that her small art studio was able to reduce its electricity bills 10 percent, without any of the problems she ran into when phone services were opened up to competition.

The number of residents switching electricity providers has skyrocketed as well, growing from only 375 in June 2010 to more than 376,000 this February, according to PlugInIllinois.