(220 ILCS 5/16-117)
Commission consumer education program.
(a) The restructuring of the electricity industry will
create a new electricity market with new marketers and sellers
offering new goods and services, many of which the average
consumer will not be able to readily evaluate. It is the
intent of the General Assembly that (i) electricity consumers
be provided with sufficient and reliable information so that
they are able to compare and make informed selections of
products and services provided in the electricity market; and
(ii) mechanisms be provided to enable consumers to protect
themselves from marketing practices that are unfair or
(b) The Commission shall maintain
consumer education information to help residential and small
commercial retail customers
understand their service options in a competitive electric
services market, and their rights and responsibilities.
(c) Not more than 90 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly, the Commission shall direct the Office of Retail Market Development to review the existing consumer education information for residential and small commercial customers and consider whether updates are necessary. The Office of Retail Market Development shall seek input from interested persons, including alternative retail electric suppliers, electric utilities, the Attorney General, and the Citizens Utility Board, to further its review of the consumer education materials and possible proposed changes. Within 4 months after the start of the review, the Office of Retail Market Development shall submit recommendations to the Commission for approval.
(e) At a minimum, the
consumer education information submitted to the Commission by the Office of Retail Market Development
shall include concise explanations or
descriptions of the following:
(1) the structure of the electric utility industry
following this amendatory Act of 1997 and a glossary of basic terms;
(2) the choices available to consumers to take
electric service from an alternative retail electric supplier or remain as a retail customer of an electric utility;
(3) a customer's rights, risks and responsibilities
in receiving service from an alternative retail electric supplier or remaining as a retail customer of an electric utility;
(4) the legal obligations of alternative retail
(5) those services that may be offered on a
competitive basis in a deregulated electric services market, including services that could be packaged with the delivery of electric power and energy;
(6) services that an electric utility is required to
provide pursuant to tariffed rates;
(7) the components of a bill that could be received
by a customer taking delivery services;
(8) the complaint procedures set forth in Section
10-108 of this Act by which consumers may seek a redress of grievances against an electric utility or an alternative retail electric supplier and a list of phone numbers of the Commission, the Attorney General or other entities that can provide information and assistance to customers; and
(9) additional information available from the
(f) Within 45 days following the submission required of
the Office of Retail Market Development by subsection (c) of this Section, the
Commission shall approve or disapprove the consumer education information.
(g) Once approved by the Commission, the consumer education information shall be provided as follows:
(1) If the electric utility bills residential or
small commercial retail customers directly, then the bill shall include the Commission's electric education internet address in the space reserved for alternative retail electric supplier messages.
(2) Alternative retail electric suppliers shall
provide the Commission's electric education internet address to all residential and small commercial retail customers.
(4) The Commission shall make the following
information available on its web site and printed information from the web site available to the public upon request and at no charge:
(A) all consumer education information developed
by the Office of Retail Market Development and approved by the Commission;
(B) a list of all certified alternative retail
electric suppliers serving residential and small commercial retail customers within the service territory of each electric utility;
(C) a list of alternative retail electric
suppliers serving residential or small commercial retail customers which have been found in the last 3 years by the Commission pursuant to Section 10-108 to have failed to provide service in accordance with the terms of their contracts with such retail customers; and
(D) guidelines to assist customers in determining
which energy supplier is most appropriate for each customer.
(h) The Commission may also adopt a uniform disclosure
form which alternative retail electric suppliers would be
required to complete enabling consumers to compare prices,
terms and conditions offered by such suppliers.
(i) The Commission shall make available to the public
staff with the ability and knowledge to respond to consumer
(Source: P.A. 97-222, eff. 7-28-11.)