Statement By CUB Executive Director David Kolata On ComEd's $51 Million Rate-Hike Request
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CHICAGO, April 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- ComEd's $51 million rate-hike request is bad timing, as an unprecedented number of consumers struggle to pay their utility bills during the pandemic. Our legal team will study ComEd's rate-hike filing from top to bottom and we will challenge every penny of wasteful or unnecessary spending in the company's proposal. ComEd's rate-hike request underscores the urgency of passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) this year. CEJA, the most pro-consumer energy bill in Springfield, offers a responsible plan to combat climate change, get Illinois to 100 percent clean energy and protect consumers' utility bills. It also would launch the strongest utility accountability program of any legislation. CEJA would require ComEd to give customers a refund for its corruption scandal; it would replace the unfair formula rate system by which ComEd is now asking for a $51 million increase; and it would create an independent ethics monitor that would hold all utilities accountable to their customers. In short, CEJA adheres to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's call for energy legislation that puts consumers and climate above utility profits. Our climate and our power bills demand strong clean energy legislation like CEJA.
BACKGROUND -On Friday, April 16, ComEd announced it was requesting that the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) increase the utility's delivery rates by $51 million. The ICC will rule on the case in December.
-The rate hike reportedly would increase the average residential customer's monthly bill by about 20 cents beginning Jan. 1, 2022.
-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 about $2.6 billion in system upgrades.
-CUB did not support the smart-grid legislation, citing too few consumer protections. The group is now focused on reducing the company's rates as much as possible and pushing for the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA). CEJA would replace formula rates with a system that emphasizes customer affordability and better protects people from unfair increases.
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.
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SOURCE Citizens Utility Board
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