Illinois Renewable Electricity

Renewable Energy in Illinois

Illinois is a major player in the production and distribution of conventional energy. It has a nuclear power plant; it produces ethanol; and it is a major center for processing crude oil. The state’s renewable sector lags behind. There’s some solar power and more wind power and not much else.

You can contribute personally to renewable energy in Illinois by wisely choosing your electricity supplier. The 1997 deregulation of the state’s electricity market means that consumers can shop around for an electricity company; they don’t have to buy from their local utility company. Plenty of the other companies on the market are just selling generic electricity, produced from the same sources. But some are selling green plans, which use some specified percentage of renewable energy. Other companies are fully green; any energy you buy from them will come from some specific wind farm or solar plant.

About the Switch

Once you’ve settled on a provider, there are a few other factors to think about.

  • How long does the contract last? Are you comfortable staying with the same company for one or two years?
  • How will the rate be changed, if it all, from month to month? Here you have a choice between a fixed-rate plan, which will save you money if prices shoot up, and a variable-rate plan, which is likely to save you money relative to a default plan with BG&E.
  • Are there any signup bonuses for choosing this company, and, if so, will they be worth it in the long run?

Of course, the rate matters too. Although you’ll usually pay more to a large company for choosing its green plan as opposed to the regular option, you can sometimes find smaller, environmentally-friendly companies with rates comparable to those offered by other companies on the market.

It’s important to realize that switching companies won’t endanger your power supply. Even though you’re changing the money around, your local utility is still delivering the electricity to your house, with whatever degree of effectiveness it had befores.