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Illinois electricity deregulation began in 1997, giving Aurora based businesses the power to choose their electricity provider. The deregulated market opened energy suppliers up to competition –forcing them to be more efficient as it relates to both service and price. Businesses of all sizes can compare energy plans from top energy suppliers and shop for the best available rates.
In most cases, Aurora businesses that take advantage of the competitive market can more effectively manage their monthly electricity costs by switching energy providers, plans and rates, as needed.
The Illinois Commerce Commission, known as ICC, is the public utilities commission of the U.S. state of Illinois, charged with the regulation of utility service providers, including electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, and transportation. ICC was created to assure the residents of Illinois have adequate, efficient, reliable, and safe public utility services at a fair price.
In doing so, the ICC impacts every business in Aurora – as it regulates all providers of utility services, including electric and natural gas companies, local and long-distance telephone companies, water and wastewater companies, rail and trucking companies. ICC is responsible for promoting the development of an effective, competitive energy market.
As an Aurora business owner, it is important to understand that the ICC is also synonymous with the “Plug In Illinois” energy comparison charts.
Utilities are the entities in charge of the operation and maintenance of the energy infrastructure, like wires and towers. The local utilities in Aurora are Commonwealth Edison and Ameren. They are responsible for transporting electricity from the generators to residential homes and businesses in this specific region.
Energy providers in Illinois, like Champion Energy and Constellation are the competitive energy retailers. Each energy provider buys energy from the wholesale market (the generators) and then re-sells it to consumers (homeowners, renters, and businesses).
In most cases, the consumer, the homeowner, renter, or business, signs a contract with an energy provider for a specific energy plan. The basic energy plan details the rate class, the energy rate per kWh, the contract term length (6, 12, 24, 36 months), and other contract terms like cancellation fee policy.
Energy choice, also known as energy market deregulation, allows Aurora business owners to select their energy supplier. Aurora has been a deregulated market since May 1, 2002.
The city of Aurora is located about 42 miles west of Chicago. Originally named McCarty Mills, Aurora was founded in 1837 by New York natives Joseph and Samuel McCarty. In 1881, Aurora became the first city in the United States to install an all-electric citywide light system, giving it the name “City of Lights”.
Illinois small businesses employed 2.4 million people and grew by 19,000 net new jobs according to the latest SBA Small Business Profile. The 2.4 million employees represent 46.4% of the total employees in Illinois. In total 1.2 million small businesses in Illinois make up 98.2% of the total businesses in the state.
Manufacturing has remained a strong part of Aurora’s economy. Warehouse and distribution centers are another major party of the economy with the surge of office and industrial parks in the 80’s and 90’s. Other major economic industries include construction, transportation, finance, and professional services.