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The January Jolt

By Matt Wood in News on Jan 2, 2007 4:27PM

chicagoist_200701_dollar.jpgRemember back in September when we warned you about the impending rate increase from ComEd, and everyone talked about TV shows instead? That was awesome. But you might want to think about switching off the telly every now and then; ComEd's 24 percent rate hike goes into effect this week, meaning that the "Ugly Betty" marathon you watched this weekend just cost you approximately $485.

The Attorney General has sued to reverse the increase, which is the result of an auction ComEd held late last year after a 10-year rate freeze expired. Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has also promised to push for another 3-year freeze, but don't hold your breath. Members of the Illinois Commerce Commission, who oversee the auction process, don't give any indication of changing their minds, and besides, since you've been watching so much TV, haven't you seen those commercials telling you that if poor ComEd can't raise prices, they'll go out of business?

CBS 2 and the Tribune offer suggestions today on how to save money on electricity, like replacing incandescent light bulbs with new compact fluorescents, regularly replacing furnace filters, checking your window seals and insulation, and turning off computers at night. While you're at it, call up Grandma too and ask her for tips on making candles out of leftover cooking grease. Welcome to 2007 folks: let's ration like it's 1945.