Decade of competition yields $1 billion in savings

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - Constellation NewEnergy, a subsidiary of Constellation Energy, said the retail electricity market in Illinois, celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month, is among the most robust nationwide, delivering millions in savings to energy consumers annually and estimated customers savings in excess of $1 billion the past 10 years.

A market participant since the opening of retail competition October 1, 1999, Constellation NewEnergy today is the retail leader in Illinois and nationwide, serving more than 2,500 customers in the state’s private and public sectors. The company said spirited competition among dozens of active retail energy suppliers has driven innovation and efficiency in Illinois’ energy sector, and continues to deliver savings, an array of choices and customized energy solutions to the state’s business and public sector community.

In its 2009 Retail Market Development Annual Report, the Illinois Commerce Commission found that competition is on the rise in utility territories across the state, with approximately 73 percent of non-residential users and more than 90 percent of large industrial and public sector energy users shopping with a competitive supplier.

Competition is spreading steadily to smaller, non-residential electricity users as well.

“The Illinois General Assembly and the Illinois Commerce Commission deserve a great deal of credit for putting the state on a path toward competition, and working diligently through the years to address the challenges and complexities of building a robust retail electricity marketplace,” said David I. Fein, Constellation Energy’s vice president of energy policy in the Midwest and its director of retail energy policy.

“The retail electricity market in Illinois is a great example of a well-functioning competitive retail market; the power of choice is helping the state’s leading public institutions, including schools, universities, hospitals and government agencies, and private sector businesses and manufacturers, achieve considerable savings on electricity costs. In the midst of a deep recession, these savings are critical. Illinois’ progressive and forward-thinking retail energy policy is helping the state’s employers, large and small, preserve existing jobs and create new ones.”

“Illinois’ energy market has matured considerably, and we’re able to provide customers with products and solutions, from real-time energy monitoring to renewable energy credits, that were unheard of in the days of regulated electricity monopolies,” said Michael Kagan, president, Constellation NewEnergy. “Thanks to competition, our customers in Illinois do much more than buy a commodity. They have access to online management tools, market analysis and seasoned energy professionals… everything they need to develop and manage a sophisticated energy portfolio.”

Before the advent of competitive energy markets, news reports highlighted instances when private enterprise threatened to relocate from Illinois to nearby states to save on electricity costs. Today, Illinois businesses have a more level playing field, built on a healthy, competitive energy marketplace.

"Electricity is a significant cost component for virtually all Illinois manufacturers,” said Greg Baise, president and CEO, Illinois Manufacturers Association. “The ability to find innovative, tailored solutions in partnership with other businesses, rather than remaining captive to utilities as a ratepayer, has been an important cost-saving mechanism for Illinois manufacturers in the past 10 years. As the energy market continues to evolve, we expect the benefits to grow. This assistance is essential in trying economic times."

Constellation Energy’s estimated 10-year retail customer savings in excess of $1 billion is based on the minimum realized savings for Illinois business customers relative to the utility tariff rates for bundled service frozen under Choice Law through December 2006, as further adjusted to take into consideration additional assumptions such as switching incentives, intensity of competition and variety of new products offered.


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