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    One Illinois high school hopes to convince residents of the benefits of electricity deregulation, for their electricity bills and the school itself.

    Illinois residents have been slow to switch electricity providers since the state opened up the market, largely because of unfamiliarity with the program and limited competition within the state.

    But the Daily Herald reports that Warren Township High School has struck a deal with retail electricity provider MidAmerican Energy Co. that will give the school a $50 donation for every resident in the town that chooses to switch.

    The deal is the first in the state to let residents support their local schools, though the University of Illinois has a similar deal to support the school's athletic programs.

    The benefit for residents is obvious, as MidAmerican currently offers a lower electricity rate than the town's utiltiy company, ComEd, and charges no fees for canceling the plan early. Meanwhile, the school is gaining immediate benefit.

    As of January of this year, nearly 317,000 Illinois residents had chosen to switch electricity providers, up from only 1,300 a year before, according to Plug In Illinois.