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CUB to the rescue: A commercial rate for a residential space?

Gabriele was a charged a $1,200 deposit for using a commercial space, but argued she was just a residential customer.

She had been using a previous owner’s storefront window space for family gatherings, kids’ art activities and meetings. With no business license, the space was not being used to sell anything or make any money.

But ComEd wanted her to pay the $1,200, in addition to a higher rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

She received a letter saying that she could receive a waiver if she had a “favorable” payment history with the company. But then she was told by ComEd that the letter was incorrect.

Frustrated, Gabriele asked CUB to intervene. “ComEd gave me the runaround, but CUB was like magic,” she said.

Consumer Advocacy Director Sandra Marcelin-Reme informed Gabriele that “residential” for ComEd (as well as all Illinois investor-owned utilities) must be an actual dwelling. However, Gabriele did fit the “small load delivery class”, a non-residential category.

Thanks to Gabriele’s payment history, ComEd issued her the waiver as a courtesy. However, the company said if any future payments were late, the commercial deposit charge would be reinstated and the waiver lifted.

Gabrielle was pleased: “I have told everybody about CUB.”