CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) — The Citizens Utility Board says it opposes a bill that’s being introduced today in the Illinois General Assembly that would increase electric bills for ComEd customers.

WBBM’s Regine Schlesinger reports CUB says the bill is a means for Comed to get around the regulatory process and ensure itself automatic rate hikes.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

If the bill passes, consumers would see an annual 2 percent rate hike.

The bill would also allow ComEd and other state utilities to lock in profit margins above 10 percent, and shorten the regulatory review process.

ComEd helped write the bill, and says it would help utility companies plan for investments such as modernizing electrical grids and hiring more workers.

But CUB executive director David Kolata says, “It’s really not a good deal for consumers right now.”

Kolata continued: “They’re trying to pitch this as a jobs bill; that they’re going to invest in their system. But the bottom line here is what they’re proposing here is a pretty drastic shift in the regulatory process. We think it would put in place a system that would lead to higher rates than we would otherwise see.”

Kolata says CUB is willing to consider regulatory form, but with the way this bill is written, he says CUB opposes it.

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