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State

ComEd rate hike request would add $6 to bills

Commonwealth Edison said Monday that it will charge $6 more per month on average to deliver electricity to utility customers beginning in 2014 as a result of higher transmission costs and expenses it has incurred to modernize the electrical grid.

In a filing with the Illinois Commerce Commission Monday – its third under a new formula-based rate making system devised in 2011 – the utility requested $311 million in additional revenue from customers in 2014 for its role in delivering electricity, maintaining electrical lines and improving the electrical grid. That increase would amount to about $5 per month for the average electricity customer and must be approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission.

The rate formula is under dispute. The Illinois General Assembly passed a bill in March that would adjust the formula in accordance with ComEd’s wishes. Gov. Pat Quinn has not said whether he will sign the bill. If it becomes law, customers can expect to see 40 cents per month in increases beginning in 2014.

Additionally, the utility has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for higher transmission rates, expected to add another $1 per month to the average bill.

The increases would affect consumers regardless of which company supplies their electricity because ComEd delivers it. But while the cost to deliver electricity is going up, the cost of the electricity itself is on the decline.

For instance, electricity customers still supplied by ComEd are about to see their electricity costs drop by 17 percent beginning June 1. Even with the increases on the docket for 2014, their overall bills would still be 10 percent less than those today. Millions of people who have switched to alternative suppliers are, for the most part, are seeing lower energy costs.

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