Electric Rates

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It's the last time putting up Christmas lights will come this cheap. Come January first, electric bills are going up at least 22-percent. An increase grandmother Regina Hood says is unfair.

"It's gonna really effect me cause I'm not working right now. I'm on a fixed income and I could barely make it now," Hood says.

So to help people like hood, Com Ed is offering a phase-in rate plan. This means rates would go up ten percent for the next three years, rather than pay it all at once. A plan Hood says she expects to do.

"If I pay it in installments, then maybe later down the line I might end up having a job and be able to be paying it that way," she says.

But there's a downside to financing utilities. Com Ed is charging 3.25 percent in interest.

"The folks who can't afford it today are gonna have as hard a time or harder time paying for it later," says Todd James, CFO for Black hawk Bank.

While James frowns on the whole idea, he says the interest rate is a lot better than those offered with most credit cards. So for people like Hood, he says the phase-plan is not a bad deal.

Com-ed is also offering a 'real-time pricing program.' This is where customers can find out the most expensive times to use electricity. For example, more people are using electricity during the day. So if you have a large load of laundry, you can wait to do it at night.

Please call 888-806-CARE or visit www.comedcare.com after January first for this information.