Chicago ComEd customers are in for a little surprise when they get their bill this month, the result of a 38 percent rate hike that went into effect on June 1.
The increase comes just as many customers are cranking up the air conditioning during the summer.
"It went from like 20 bucks a month to like 75 bucks a month," a customer told NBC 5.
"My last power bill was like $150 a month, and that was much higher than I expected," another customer said.
CHECK: Chicago Power Calculator
Jim Chilsen with the Citizens Utility Board says Chicagoans there are ways to minimize the damage on your next bill. First, follow through on common sense cost-savings measures like closing your curtains, blocking skylights and turning your thermostat a few degrees higher when you're out of the house.
"The easiest and most reliable way to cut your electric bill is through energy efficiency," Chilsen said.
But most people don't realize that you also have an option to switch power providers. Chicago customers should look closely at their bill to see if their provider is ComEd or Integrys.
"Most households were switched over to Integrys Energy Services. For a good number of customers, it could be a good deal to go back to ComEd. Other customers may want to stay with their alternate supplier," Chilsen said.
Determining which company provides the best deal depends on your personal habits and usage.
The City of Chicago and the Citizens Utility Board have launched a free online calculator at ChicagoPowerCalculator.com where you can figure out which option is right for you.
Switching power suppliers is a free process.