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Senate Bill 651 is Not the Solution for Illinois

The Illinois State Senate has called on the full General Assembly to pass SB 651, an act supporters claim will lead to greater regulation of Illinois’ alternative energy suppliers. Rather than improving the competitive electricity market in Illinois, this bill would lead to the end of consumer choice and higher prices for Illinois consumers.


More than 1.8 million households have actively chosen their own energy supplier with a recent poll showing that 87% of Illinoisans prefer to retain the ability to choose a supplier. Energy choice has been a win for Illinois and has demonstrated that competitive markets provide an essential component to keeping commodity prices in check.  Since 2008 the electricity bills of consumers in neighboring Midwestern states that do not offer electric choice have risen by almost 31%.  During that same period Illinois consumers have seen bills rise by only 10%.  


Through SB 651 many of the 1.8 million customers, who have successfully left their electric utility and chosen an alternative supplier plan will be forced back onto utility standard service. Then they will have to go through a multi-month waiting period, just to return to the competitive service they’ve already selected.


There is no question that stronger consumer protections can increase confidence in the electricity market. The market requires rigid guidelines regulating competitive market practices to avoid damages inflicted by predatory marketing tactics.  Clearly defined measures that swiftly deal with suppliers and solicitations abusing consumers with questionable or unethical tactics need to be in place and should be supported.


On balance, the competitive electricity market is working for Illinois customers by providing both product and supplier choices that meet consumer needs and buying preferences. Let’s enhance a functional competitive market and not eliminate customer choice.

Contact your legislator and urge them to vote NO on SB 651. Take action here.


Direct Energy is one of North America’s largest retail providers of electricity, natural gas, and home and business energy-related services with over four million customers. Direct Energy gives customers choice, simplicity, and innovation where energy, data, and technology meet. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), an international energy and services company, Direct Energy, its subsidiaries and/or affiliates, operate in 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and eight provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit

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