Illinoisans Use a Lot of Energy But Could Save More

October  22, 2013

Illinois residents will probably pay more to heat their homes this winter. The Citizens Utility Board says a recent federal report shows natural gas prices will increase about 13 percent compared to last year. But CUB says there are a lot of ways Illinois residents can lower their bills.

Spokesman Jim Chilsen says extreme weather is to blame for Illinois households using an average of 44 percent more energy than the national average. "Extremes in heat and cold are to blame. Households in Illinois spend an average of $2,000 on utilities every year. And more than half of that is spent on heating and cooling their homes."

Besides the weather, Chilsen says other factors contribute to household energy use, including larger homes and a love of electronics. "More than 50% of Illinois homes have 3 plus tvs. And many have a second refrigerator which can really be a power guzzler.

The Citizens Utility Board web site has links to Ameren and ComEd programs for customers to get discounts or rebates on projects and more efficient appliances. MidAmerican Energy also has a number of similar programs and tips for customers.