Illinois utility ComEd recently announced that due to the state's aggressive policies for creating a competitive energy market, more than 1.5 million of its residential energy customers will likely switch to a retail energy supplier by the end of the year.

Already, more than 930,000 ComEd customers in nearly 150 cities now receive their electricity from an alternative supplier.

"ComEd has long believed that customer choice for electric supply was the right policy to spur innovation, competition and the lowest possible price for power. The emergence of competition in the residential market is exactly what supporters of the law envisioned…" said Anne Pramaggiore, president and chief executive officer of ComEd.

ComEd said that energy deregulation laws have prompted the utility to reorganize the way it operates, with its new primary role to distribute electricity. Even if customers switch, ComEd will still deliver electricity to homes and businesses through the current system.

Illinois' endeavor into energy deregulation began in 1997, when state lawmakers passed the Illinois Electric Service Customer Choice and Rate Relief Law, which deregulated Ameren Illinois utilities and ComEd.