CHICAGO (CBS) — ComEd customers will be getting socked with higher electric bills this summer.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports ComEd Bills are divided into two parts – what it charges for delivering electricity, and the cost of power to consumers based on market conditions.

Jim Chilsen, spokesman for the Citizens Utility Board, a public utility watchdog, said the charge for customers who get electricity from ComEd is going up from 5.5 cents per kilowatt hour to nearly 7.6 cents, effective June 1. That energy rate makes up about two-thirds of a customer’s bill.

“This shows that, now more than ever, energy efficiency has become a friend of the consumer. If you can practice energy efficiency, you can blunt rate hikes like this,” he said.

Chilsen said the higher rate reflects changes in the market for the electricity ComEd buys.

“It’s a very different electricity market that we’re experiencing now, from a year ago, and savings are much harder to come by,” he said.

Chilsen said ComEd customers can check out alternative energy suppliers to find out if there are better energy rates available this summer.

“You now know what ComEd’s going to be charging on June 1st. You can take some time to actually compare the rates and see if an alternative supplier is offering a decent deal for you,” he said.

ComEd also has received approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission to raise its delivery rates, which every home and business in its service territory must pay, even if they use an alternative supplier, as ComEd’s competitors still must use its infrastructure to deliver power.

The money from the increased delivery rates will go to pay for ComEd’s $2.6 billion modernization of the delivery grid.