Central Illinois Light Co. (CIL) has asked the Illinois Public Utilities Commission to approve two retail wheeling pilot programs named 'Power Quest.' One is aimed at industrial customers, the other at commercial/residential customers, although participation is strictly voluntary.Customers participating in Power Quest will purchase their electricity from sources other than CIL, and then contract with CIL to deliver the power through existing lines. The customer will pay the supplier for the energy and CIL for the delivery. The two-year industrial pilot would allow CIL's eight largest customers with peak loads exceeding 10 megawatts to procure power from an alternative supplier.
Residential and commercial customers falling within designated "open-access sites" may purchase power from a supplier other than CIL. The five-year pilot is the first-ever utility attempt at full retail competition, according to Greg Woith, CIL spokesman. CIL is also creating a marketing affiliate to compete for customers that leave the CIL system.
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