Group Promises To Fight ComEd Rate Increase

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Citizens Utility Board plans to appeal an Illinois Commerce Commission vote Tuesday granting Commonwealth Edison a $155.7 million rate hike.

“This is the worst possible time for a rate increase. Com Ed customers are struggling with the economy, they’re getting gouged at the gas pump and now they are going to get a Com Ed rate hike. Meantime, Com Ed’s parent company made about $2.7 billion last year. You have to ask yourself what’s wrong with this picture?” CUB spokesman Jim Chilsen told Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding Reports

Chilsen says although ComEd’s requested rate hike was cut in half, the company actually owed its customers a $40 million rate cut.

The rate hike will go into effect as of June 1and will cost customers about $3.15 more a month.

ComEd initially asked for a $396-million rate hike when it filed its proposal with the ICC last June. That would have increased the average household electric bill 7 percent, the utility said then.

Meanwhile, ComEd is working to secure passage of state legislation that would allow for its annual rates to rise automatically, in part to recover the $1.5 billion it will cost to install so-called smart meters in Chicago-area homes and businesses.

ComEd’s parent, Chicago-based Exelon Corp., already faces revenue and earnings declines in 2012 and 2013 due to low wholesale power prices.

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