Statement by CUB Communicatiosn Director Jim Chilsen on
ComEd Request for $275 Million Rate Hike
“Today, Commonwealth Edison asked for a $275 million rate hike to pay for upgrades to its power grid. These improvements, if done right, should pay for themselves in the long run, but the key moving forward is to hold ComEd accountable. That’s why CUB will scrutinize ever penny of this rate-hike request, and do our best to reduce it as much as possible. A rate increase is never welcome news for CUB or Illinois consumers, and that’s why it’s so important that ComEd live up to its promises of building a more reliable power grid that helps consumers cut their costs. Illinois consumers deserve the benefits, not just the bill.”
*This rate hike, if approved, would take effect in January 2015. ComEd estimates that it will add $3 a month to the average electric bill.
*Today’s proposal for new delivery rates is in accordance with passage of the “Energy Infrastructure and Modernization Act,” or the “smart-grid bill,” in 2011. The new law uses a formula to determine ComEd rates each year for up to the next decade to pay for $2.6 billion in system upgrades.
* The rate hike affects delivery charges on ComEd bills—what customers pay to have the electricity delivered to their homes. Those charges take up about a third to a half of the bill. The rest of the bill is taken up by the cost of the electricity itself. That utility supply rate is determined through a power-buying process managed by the Illinois Power Agency (IPA), a state agency. If a customer chooses an alternative supplier, he or she agrees to pay that supplier’s rate.
*CUB did not support the smart-grid legislation, citing too few consumer protections. The group is now focused on reducing the yearly rate hikes as much as possible and pushing ComEd to improve the power grid in a way that cuts future electric bills and improves reliability. CUB will take part in yearly reviews of ComEd’s spending and will protest what it judges to be unjustified capital and operational expenditures.
CUB is Illinois’ leading nonprofit utility watchdog organization. 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 has saved consumers more than $10 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds over the years. For more information, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-669-5556 or visit CUB’s award-winning website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.
STATELINE (WIFR) – Our electric bills could be rising next year.
ComEd has filed a request with the Illinois Commerce Commission for a rate hike to support its new SmartGrid system.
Our bills could be $3 higher starting in January 2015.
It’ll be the first time since 2011 that rates have gone up.