A statement from CUB Executive Director David Kolata on ComEd’s rate hike, from Dec. 2, 2021:
ComEd’s $45.8 million increase in the middle of an already painfully expensive winter is awful timing by the company and another reminder of why it is so important to replace the unfair formula rate system with one that gives the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) more authority. Given multiple ComEd rate hikes over the years and the company’s corruption scandal, Illinois consumers deserve better. That’s why we are working to secure customer refunds that could provide much needed relief and why we worked to pass the Climate & Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). While the work of improving the rate-setting system is an ongoing process, CEJA takes a key step forward by replacing the flawed formula rate system, giving consumers a louder voice in the process and placing a greater emphasis on customer priorities like affordability, reliability and sustainability.
– On Wednesday, Dec. 1, the ICC granted ComEd a $45,846,000 delivery rate hike. That’s down from the company’s original request of $51,167,000. ComEd agreed to the minor adjustments that reduced the increase. The new rates take effect on January 1, 2022.
– The original $51 million rate hike reportedly would have increased the average residential customer’s monthly bill by about 20 cents.
– The increase affects delivery charges—what all customers pay to have the electricity delivered to their homes. Those charges take up about a third to a half of the bill.
– ComEd’s delivery rates are set according to the state’s 2011 Energy Infrastructure and Modernization Act, or the “smart-grid bill.” That law uses a formula to determine ComEd rates annually to cover system upgrades.
– CUB did not support the smart-grid legislation, citing too few consumer protections. This past year, CUB and other consumer and environmental advocates succeeded in passing CEJA, which is set to replace the formula rate-setting system beginning in 2024 with a system that gives the ICC more authority and puts more emphasis on reliability and affordability.
CUB is Illinois’ leading nonprofit utility watchdog. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, it has saved consumers more than $20 billion by helping block rate hikes, secure refunds and fight for clean, low-cost energy. For more information, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline, 1-800-669-5556, or visit its website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.