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ComEd Rates To Spike In June

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 7, 2014 9:30PM

Photo credit: Ed Fisher

Astute readers already knew to expect higher electric bills come June. But a 38 percent rate hike? Keep calm and wait as long as you can to put your air conditioning units in the windows.

ComEd filed a new energy charge of 7.596 cents per kilowatt-hour Tuesday with the Illinois Commerce Commission; the current rate is 5.52 cents per kilowatt-hour. That includes the results of an April power-generator auction held by the Illinois Power Agency, which negotiates power purchases for utility companies across Illinois. Other factors in the higher rate include reservation fees and transmission costs for delivering electricity to customers; the closure of coal-fueled electric plants like the Fisk and Crawford plants in Chicago; and fewer electricity providers promising to supply electricity to ComEd’s power grid come summer. Energy prices account for two-thirds of an average residential electricity bill.

The Emanuel administration announced in March a bulk purchase of electricity from Integrys Energy Solutions that would help save Chicago residents money on their average electric bill, but not near the original savings projected by the mayor’s office. The average ComEd bill, even with the bulk purchase, is expected to increase 14 percent to 18 percent. Michael Negron, Emanuel’s policy director, said at the time the increase to residents’ electric bills could have been worse without the bulk purchase.

The higher electric bills may not stop there. ComEd has a proposal under review with the ICC that would add $3 to the average cost of electric bills as a delivery charge for electricity that would take effect in January 2015, if approved. That’s on top of the $5.50 average cost for electricity delivery currently on ComEd residential bills.

You may want to start praying for a mild summer.