URBANA, Ill. — An end to an energy contract means electric rates are going to spike in one central Illinois city. Starting in December people in Urbana will see their 4-cent rate jump to 12 cents.

Before you think that’s just change, those cents will add up to some big dollars. They’re small numbers that can make a big difference.

A rate change of this size can increase an overall energy bill by nearly 50%. So, a monthly bill of $97 would be closer to $150. This is because a 2020 Homefield contract guaranteed the low prices for the city, but that contract ends with the November-December meter readings.

I spoke with an Urbana homeowner who said she doesn’t know how people are expected to budget for the increase.

“My power bills are already horrendous. So, that’s going to make it unbelievable. And I’ve replaced windows, replaced furnaces and nothing seems to help… except maybe the fireplace when we get down to it,” said Susan Phillips, an Urbana homeowner.

Urbana will move to Ameren’s 12.23 rate until its new contract. That will go down slightly to 12.21 when the Energy Harbor contract starts in February.

You can calculate a rough estimate of your new electric charge by using a previous bill. Just multiply your month’s electric use by .12. That added to your gas charge will give you your new estimated monthly bill.

(month’s electric use x .12) + total gas charge = estimated monthly bill