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Special message: Your next rate hike

coal banner.jpgAn issue we’ve been talking about for more than a year is about to erupt into one of the biggest battles we’ve ever had to protect our electric bills—and we wanted to warn you about it. Here’s the summary:

  • At the end of this month, Cheryl LaFleur is retiring from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), breaking a 2-2 deadlock. That opens the door for FERC to pass an absolutely horrible proposal favored by out-of-state power generators that would be devastating to our electric bills—and to Illinois’ leadership in securing clean, affordable electricity for consumers.
  • The proposal before FERC might seem technical, but it deals with drastically changing the rules for a special electricity market called the “capacity market.” That would inflate market prices to prop up struggling fossil fuel power plants and, in effect, make ComEd customers pay higher power bills for dirty power that they don’t need.

How bad would our bills go up? ComEd customers would see future rate hikes that would increase bills by up to $500 million a year—and that’s a conservative estimate.

Knowing that this is a huge problem looming for our pocketbooks, CUB has been pushing for a legislative solution, the Clean Energy Jobs Act, all this year.

But it has to pass before the end of 2019. If we don’t make that deadline, we will be locked into a fossil fuel bailout that will be devastating for Illinois consumers.

Let’s be clear: This is a real threat. It’s an urgent issue that stretches from Washington to Springfield to every kitchen table in Northern Illinois where people are trying to figure out how to make ends meet. And it impacts everyone who wants clean, affordable energy for Illinois. I’m sending you this special message for three reasons:

  1. Please educate yourself about this issue by reading our blog. This will prepare you for the battles ahead.
  2. Please watch for future email alerts, when we will ask you to take action—sign a petition, send a message, call your legislators. (The big, out-of-state power generators will be in Springfield this fall trying to block us.)
  3. Please consider supporting CUB’s Rate Hike Defense Fund, as we gear up for one of our biggest battles ever.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for your support.