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Gov. Quinn Vetoes ComEd Price Jump as Expected

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Sep 12, 2011 9:00PM

As he promised, Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed a bill that would have raised ComEd rates to pay for the company's infrastructure updates, while blocking government oversight. Now the Illinois General Assembly will start roundup up the votes necessary to override Quinn.

The bill would have increased rates for consumers in an effort to cover about 60 percent of the costs of installing smart-grid technology. ComEd says smart-grid would help consumers use less energy through a smartphone application that gives real-time information on how much energy a home is using. It would also allow solar panel owners to sell extra energy back to the grid.

The bill would give ComEd more freedom from the Illinois Commerce Commission, allowing it to jack up electricity costs without oversight. That's why the Citizens Utility Board called the bill a "Trojan Horse to change the entire regulatory system." ComEd, by the way, was ranked by JD Power as one of the worst electric companies in the country.

To override Quinn's veto, legislators would need a supermajority of three-fifths of the vote: That's 71 votes in the House and 36 in the Senate.