The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has recently approved the entrance of Major Energy into the deregulated electricity market of Illinois, specifically in the Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) territory. Major Energy, along with its subsidiary, Respond Power, serves customers in deregulated areas of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and now Illinois.

The retail electricity provider is currently offering variable-rate plans below the rate of the default utility, ComEd. Fixed-rate plans will be available in early 2013, allowing customers to protect themselves from price fluctuations by locking in one low rate for the duration of their contract.

ComEd’s service territory includes 25 counties in Northern Illinois, encompassing roughly 70% of the entire state’s population. Not surprisingly, competition among retail electricity providers is fierce in the area, which has helped to drive down the price of electricity among providers. Currently, ComEd’s Price-to-Compare—the average of what residential users pay for electricity—is around 8.319 cents/kWh.

Though the City of Chicago has recently chosen a retail electricity provider for city-wide aggregation program, Chicagoans are still able to shop around to find even lower rates. While the aggregation supply agreement locks in rates as low as 25% below ComEd’s rates, several retail electricity providers are offering rates that are 4-12% lower than Integrys’ rate.