State legislators are under a lot of pressure to extend the decade long electric rate freeze scheduled to end in 2007.
For the past ten years, electric rates in Illinois have held steady at 8.4 cents per kilowatt hour. The freeze went into effect to keep electricity companies competitive. But a decade later, ComEd still dominates the industry, and now they want to raise rates by 25%, up to 10.5 cents per kilowatt hour. ComEd says costs to buy power have increased. Today, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn called on Illinois citizens to pressure their lawmakers to extend the freeze.
"I don't think this is the right thing to do at all for our state, to make every day citizens living from paycheck to paycheck pay more for electricity while ComEd makes more profits," Quinn says.
"If the rate freeze is extended, it'll have serious negative consequences for our customers. If we cannot recover our costs for the power we've purchased, we will quickly become insolvent. This is turn will lead to a chance that our reliability will suffer," counters Don Westfall, an external affairs manager with ComEd.
If lawmakers don't extend the freeze, the rate hike will go into effect January 1st. ComEd will work with customers to help them adjust to the change. Head to www.comedcare.com to find out how.