CHICAGO (CBS) — The Citizens Utility Board says if everyone did the little things needed to more efficiently use electricity, it would cover the cost of a ComEd rate increase.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, a study by CUB estimates that Chicago area residents could save $180 million if they took such measures as using compact fluorescent light bulbs and turn off coffee makers when they’re not being used.

Spokesman Jim Chilsen says nearly 12,000 people who signed up for the Web site have saved money.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

“Consumers were able to cut their electricity usage by about 5.5 percent over the past 12 months on average, for a savings of about $55 a year,” Chilsen said.

Dave Johnson of Des Plaines was one of those who cut his electric bill dramatically.

“It made me conscious of what kind of things I could do to save,” he said.

Cutting electric and natural gas use, CUB says, could save the average household more than $100 per year.

Late last month, state lawmakers passed a bill that would allow the state’s two main electric companies – ComEd and Ameren – to charge more to pay for a modernization of their power grids.

But Gov. Pat Quinn has threatened to veto the bill.