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Illinois seeing massive rise in competitive electricity

Competition within the Illinois electricity market has picked up dramatically over the past years, as more businesses, individuals and towns begin to compare electricity rates, according to The Chicago Tribune.

As recently as January of 2011, fewer than 1,400 Illinois residents were receiving their power from an alternate retail electricity supplier, according to the Illinois Commerce Commission.

By March that number had risen by more than 50 percent to more than 2,000 residents, but the number still reflected a tiny portion of the total market. As of November, however, alternate electricity providers were supplying more than 223,500 residents across Illinois, more than 165 times the number from the beginning of the year.

"That is huge growth," Roy Boston, Illinois state chair of the Retail Energy Supply Association, told the Tribune. "And it does nothing but bring the benefits of competition — lower prices that previously were not available."

While one of the prominent trends in the industry, electricity aggregation does not offer individual residents the opportunity to compare electricity providers, its popularity combined with the trends among individuals illustrates how competitive electricity prices have become under the states electricity deregulation policy. Some suggest nearly one-third of the residential market will be using alternate electricity suppliers by the end of the next year.