The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) will analyze electric, natural gas, and phone bills at a free clinic to show Evanston residents how to potentially save hundreds of dollars a year.

Consumers should bring their bills for a free, one-on-one consultation, or “checkup,” with a CUB expert who will search for ways to lower their utility costs.

The clinic will be held at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 24, at the Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave. in Evanston.

“The key to saving money on your utility bills is simply to read them,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said. “At a CUB clinic you can sit down with an expert who can explain all the confusing charges, answer your questions, and give you ways to slash your costs.” 

At CUB’s clinic, consumers will get information on:

  • Evanston’s “municipal aggregation” program and how it will impact electric bills.
  • CUB Energy Saver,, a free online service that has helped consumers cut energy bills by an average of $130 a year and rewards them with restaurant and shopping discounts.
  • How to spot unnecessary charges on electric, natural gas, and phone bills.
  • The low-cost Consumer’s Choice local-calling plans, designed by CUB under a legal settlement with AT&T. The plans are under a state-mandated price freeze through at least June of 2013 and have been saving Illinois consumers an average of about $200 a year.
  • Illinois’ best long-distance plans and how to get a $10 credit negotiated by CUB. That amounts to about five hours of free calls.
  • Line-Backer, a costly—and optional—AT&T service that most people don’t need.
  • CUB’s Cellphone Savings Center,, which gives the latest tips and information to cut wireless costs.

Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers.

Since then, CUB officials say it has has saved consumers more than $10 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds.

For more information, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-669-5556 or visit CUB’s website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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