CUB Statement on ComEd Rate Case Decision

Contact:
Jim Chilsen, chilsen@citizensutilityboard.org, (312) 513-1784

CHICAGO, December 6, 2016— CUB is pleased we were able to shave a few million dollars off ComEd’s rate-hike request, but an increase is never good news for consumers. We have joined other consumer advocates in filing a motion for rehearing to challenge a portion of this rate hike and reduce it as much as possible.

ComEd’s rate hike underscores the importance of the Future Energy Jobs Bill, which was just passed by the Illinois General Assembly. One of the most effective ways to fight rate hikes is through energy efficiency, and this legislation will give consumers tools to cut their power bills.

Background:

*By a vote of 5-0, on Dec. 6, 2016, the ICC approved a $127.5 million ComEd rate hike. The 5.06 percent rate increase took effect Jan. 1, 2016. It gives the company an 8.64 percent return on equity, or profit rate for shareholders. ComEd’s original request was an increase of about $137.5 million, filed in April.

*The ICC and consumer advocates helped to reduce the increase by about $10 million. But regulators have agreed to rehear parts of the case, and consumer advocates are hoping to cut the hike by millions of dollars more.

*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.

* The new rates were 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 for the next several years to pay for about $2.6 billion in system upgrades.

*Illinois’ new way of setting electric rates limits how much consumer advocates and regulators can protect customers from rate increases, but each year CUB works to secure the lowest rates possible by reviewing ComEd’s spending, and protesting unjustified capital and operational expenditures. The consumer watchdog also is pushing the utility to live up to its promise to build a more affordable power grid that reduces inefficiency, improves reliability and gives customers the chance to save money by making their homes more efficient and taking part in money-saving electricity programs.

CUB is Illinois’ leading nonprofit utility watchdog organization. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, CUB has saved consumers more than $10 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds over the years. For more information, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-669-5556 or visit CUB’s award-winning website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.