ComEd announced today that residential and small commercial customers who purchase their electricity supply from the utility may switch to a retail electricity provider at any time. If ComEd electricity supply customers choose to switch to a retail electricity provider, they will no longer be required to remain with ComEd for a minimum period of time before doing so.

“The residential electric supply market has really taken off in the last few years, and ComEd is constantly evaluating how we can adjust to support the best interest of our customers,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO, ComEd.

Pramaggiore continued, “Our municipalities and customers are monitoring the energy marketplace and if they want to take advantage of a money-saving opportunity for their energy source, we are making it easier for them to do so. That’s the sign of a healthy and competitive marketplace, which we fully support for our customers.”

ComEd’s primary role is the safe and reliable delivery of electricity to nearly 4 million customers across northern Illinois; it does not generate electricity or own generation assets. Only 35 percent of residential customers purchase their electricity supply directly from ComEd; rates are determined by the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) and are approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). ComEd passes along its supply costs to customers without profit or markup.

With the growth of municipal aggregation, which enables cities and counties to purchase electricity on behalf of residents, nearly 2.2 million residential customers in the ComEd service territory receive electricity supply from a retail electricity provider. Many of those aggregation contracts have recently expired.

In fact, nearly two-thirds of the municipal aggregation programs in ComEd’s service territory expire in 2014. While most of these communities have elected to continue getting their electricity supply from a RES, a number of communities have elected to suspend their aggregation program which, by law, sends their residents back to ComEd as their electricity supplier. Under the new policy, these customers are not bound to ComEd and may select a new supplier at any time.