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Many consumers in states with electricity deregulation remain unaware of their options, but many of those living in more traditional markets are even less familiar with the possibilities of competitive electricity. Kent Wainscott of WISN 12 News in Wisconsin spoke with numerous Wisconsin residents interested in deregulation, and investigated the advantages and disadvantages of switching electricity providers in nearby Illinois.
One of the first steps Wainscott took was to speak with someone who had made the move from deregulated Illinois to Wisconsin. Ken Korp of Kenosha County explained that he was shocked to see the size of his electricity rates, suggesting that he would prefer the opportunity to shop for a better deal.
Overall, Illinois residents can find a better deal as well, with Jim Chilsen of the Illinois Citizens' Utility Board suggesting that most people who change electricity suppliers generally see lower electricity bills, on average between $5 and $25 per month.
However, he notes that these electricity suppliers' rates can fluctuate along with the market, sometimes leading to higher prices. Overall, he suggests it has made purchasing electricity more complicated.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Illinois saw its electricity rates rise 27.6 percent between 1999 and 2009, while Wisconsin electricity prices rose 63 percent during the same period.