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New ComEd and Ameren rates: January 2019

What happened with your ComEd and Ameren rates as of January 1? CUB breaks it down for you.

electric bill.jpgComEd Customers

Rates for ComEd increased slightly.

» Single family homes without electric heat

Monthly Customer Charge: $11.31/month (formerly $10.84/month)

Distribution Facilities Charge: 3.539¢/kWh (formerly 3.171¢/kWh)

» Multifamily homes without electric heat

Monthly Customer Charge: $8.13/month (formerly $7.68/month)

Distribution Facilities Charge: 2.607¢/kWh (formerly 2.533¢/kWh)

» Single family homes with electric heat

Monthly Customer Charge: $13.05/month (formerly $12.60/month)

Distribution Facilities Charge: 1.646¢/kWh (formerly 1.520¢/kWh)

» Multifamily homes with electric heat

Monthly Customer Charge: $8.88/month (formerly $8.39/month)

Distribution Facilities Charge: 1.573¢/kWh (formerly 1.427¢/kWh)

»
 All customers pay:

Standard Metering Charge: $5.15/month (formerly $4.63/month)

IL Electricity Distribution Charge: 0.123¢/kWh (formerly 0.120¢/kWh)

Remember, these rates are delivery rates–what ComEd charges you to deliver electricity to your home (plus a profit). They are slightly higher than December’s rates, but could have been way worse. Everyone pays delivery rates, no matter if you’re with an alternative supplier or ComEd supplies you with electricity. Remember, you don’t avoid paying delivery rates by going with another supplier.

ComEd’s supply rate is 7.219¢ per kilowatt-hour (kWh) through May 2019. This is the price you compare with alternative supplier offers. Warning: You are likely to pay more with an alternative supplier. While a profit is built into ComEd’s delivery rates, the company cannot profit off the supply price.

Crain’s Chicago Business reported that ComEd wanted a rate hike of about $180 million for 2019. Instead, as consumer advocates like CUB had urged, the company passed along savings from the massive corporate tax cut approved by Congress in 2017.

Ameren Customers

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has approved electric and gas delivery increases for Ameren Illinois. Yet, the company has said publicly that bills could go down for many customers in 2019. CUB can explain.

New Ameren Electric Delivery Rates (through December):

Monthly Customer Charge: $8.42/month (formerly $7.72/month).

Distribution Delivery Charge Summer: 5.121¢/kWh (formerly 4.581¢/kWh).

Distribution Delivery Charge Non-Summer: 

  • 2.997¢/kWh for first 800 kWh used (formerly 2.681¢ per kWh);
  • 1.594¢/kWh over 800 kWh (formerly 1.425¢ per kWh).

Meter Charge: $5.74/month (formerly $5.16/month).

Note: The supply rate through May of 2019 is 5.026¢/kWh for the first 800 kWh used, and 4.367¢/kWh for usage over 800 kWh. This is the price you compare with alternative supplier offers.

New Ameren Gas Delivery Rates: 

Monthly Customer Charge: $20.25 (formerly $21.90).

Distribution Charge: 21.159¢/therm (formerly 14.807¢/therm).

For electric, Ameren received a $71.6 million increase on delivery charges. However, Ameren’s supply price has dropped about 18 percent from what it was a year ago—thanks in part to market reforms pushed by consumer advocates, including CUB. If you pay Ameren for delivery AND supply you could actually save an average of about $5.47 per month in 2019, the company said. (If you’re with an alternative supplier, you could pay more!)

On the gas side, Ameren received a $31.7 million delivery hike. But the gas utility estimated customers still might be able to save a few dollars a month, on average, compared with last year. That’s because Ameren expects natural gas prices to be down a bit in 2019. Also, a separate charge (called “Rider QIP”) on the bill was zeroed out as part of the rate case. So despite the rate hike, the zeroed out charge means overall bills are down by a total of $10.3 million in January. (More on “Rider QIP” below.)

Rider QIP came about as a result of legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2013. It’s designed to help gas utilities more quickly recover certain costs associated with financing pipe replacement and other improvements. At each rate case, Rider QIP is zeroed out, and those costs are transferred to standard delivery rates. While the charge is zero for now, it will slowly begin to rise with future pipe-replacement work, until it gets zeroed out again at the next rate case. Rider QIP, used by gas utilities across the state, often sparks controversy. CUB has argued that it too often represents an end-run around the regulatory process.

P.S. Be sure to check out CUB’s newly updated fact sheets: Making Sense of Your Electric Bill and Making Sense of Your Gas Bill.