Energy Co-op Program Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who is eligible to join the Chamber program?

    The following rate classes are available to join the Chamber Energy Co-op:

    Ameren or ComEd customers:
    • DS 1 – Residential Electric Customers (where municipal aggregation does not exist)
    • DS 2 – GDS 2 – Small Commercial accounts
    • DS 3 – GDS 2 – Mid-sized Commercial accounts
    • DS-4 – GDS 4 – Large commercial accounts
       
  2. Where Do I Get an Application?

    You can receive it from the Chamber of Commerce either by downloading it from our website ( Commercial Energy Co-op Application (PDF, 784 KB) ) or picking one up in person. You can also have the application faxed or emailed to you.
     
  3. How much does it cost to join the co-op?

    There is no fee to join the program. It is a member-only benefit of Chamber membership.
     
  4. What kind of cost savings can I expect from being a member of the co-op?

    That depends upon the amount of electricity your business uses and the rate class you are in. Since each business' usage varies, each business' reduction will be different as well. Based on past experience, DS-2 accounts typically can expect to see 8 to 10% cost savings over the utility. DS-3 accounts can expect a 10 to 14% reduction and DS-4 accounts (over 3 megawatt load) can expect cost reductions of 12 to 18% over the utility.
     
  5. What if I don't like the bids received or I change my mind on bid day?

    Each member of the co-op will individually accept or reject the bid. You do not have to accept the bid. If you reject the bid, you will stay with or go back to your utility for service with no interruptions in service.
     
  6. Can I be denied enrollment to the program?

    It is possible to be denied credit from a supplier. The suppliers check credit and payment history with your utility in order to protect the rest of the group's rate from delinquent members.
     
  7. Why do you need copies of my current electricity bills?

    Each member is required to submit copies of their most recent bill for each account that is to be included in the co-op. The consultants and suppliers need important information from these bills in order to enroll you. Account numbers, meter numbers, service address and billing address is required to give the utility notification that a switch is being made. The selected supplier uses the information for credit approval.
     
  8. What if I join the co-op and the utility rates go down?

    Your contract will remain in effect. Remember, that the rates at the utility fluctuate and they may go down slightly for a period of time. The goal of the co-op is to show reduction over a longer period of time and provide budget stability. If you want to play the market or search for the rock bottom price, the co-op may not be what you are looking for.
     
  9. What happens if I drop my contract?

    If you decide you no longer want to be in the contract, you are subject to "early termination fees". These fees are calculated by how long you have left on your contract and the price the supplier paid for your electricity. Natural disaster, fires or unexpected damage to your business is not grounds for these fees. Your supplier should be notified immediately if any major disruption in service occurs.
     
  10. I am getting calls from another third-party supplier wanting my company to sign with them. How do I know I am getting the best deal?

    The Chamber and CQI Associates cannot guarantee that another third party supplier will not offer a better rate than the rate the coop is offering. What we offer is a rate better than what the utility offers on a regular basis. We use long term fixed rate contracts in order to provide you cost reduction and budget stability. An energy expert negotiates your contracts and the rates are competitively bid among eligible suppliers. The consultants thoroughly evaluate the contract terms and conditions to make certain it does not contain hidden language, price changes, term changes, or language that could have unintended consequences in the future.
     
  11. What if I move my business to a new location?

    Your co-op rate can be moved to a new location, with approval from the supplier. Expansion to a larger facility may require additional accounts. It is advisable to give at least 45 days advance notice.
     
  12. If I sell my business, can my contract be assigned to a new business owner?

    The new owner will need to undergo a credit check in advance of reassignment of the contract. Again, it is advisable to give at least 45 days advance notice of any business changes.
     
  13. What if I have businesses in other areas, outside the Chamber service area? Can they be included?

    Absolutely. As long as the location is in the Ameren or Com-Ed territory we can add them to the Chamber co-op. If they are outside of those territories, we would need to ask the consultant if that area is open for retail service. Businesses served by rural or municipal cooperatives are not eligible for this program.