The referendums were designed to allow towns to negotiate directly with retail electricity providers in the hopes of securing lower electricity rates, generally known as electricity aggregation. Some regions of the state saw as many as three-quarters of all towns approve these new programs.
Electricity aggregation can cause problems for residents if the plan does not include the ability to opt out, but the votes nevertheless showed growing support for electricity choice in the state.
Meanwhile, those that do provide an opt-out can help provide lower electricity prices than utility companies, while still offering the opportunity to switch electricity providers for even more savings.
Citizens Utility Board explained that having more options for lower electricity rates could be particularly helpful until the end of the year when utility companies renegotiate their contracts.
Over the past two years, the number of Illinois residents switching electricity providers has grown from around 1,400 to more than 376,000, according to PlugInIllinois.