In order to sustain improved reliability for families and businesses in the face of more frequent and severe storms and support Illinois’ transition to 100 percent clean and renewable energy, ComEd today requested an increase of $51 million in electricity distribution charges in 2022, which would add 20 cents to the average monthly bill for residential customers.
This year’s Formula Rate Update filing marks ComEd’s first request for a distribution rate increase in four years. It begins an eight-month process during which the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), Illinois Attorney General, Citizens Utility Board and others will review ComEd’s actual costs for 2020 and expected investments for 2021. All capital expenditures and costs must be found to be prudent and reasonable before being included in customer rates that take effect in January 2022, subject to approval by the ICC.
“Making the power grid more resilient to severe storms, able to charge fleets of electric vehicles and maintain superior reliability as we bring more renewable energy onto the system requires thoughtful investment,” said ComEd CEO Joe Dominguez. “The cost of not making these investments is far greater. We’ve seen severe weather events in the last nine months lead to catastrophic grid failures in California and Texas. Last August, we restored power to more than half a million customers within 24 hours, record time, following the unprecedented derecho storm and 13 tornadoes that hit our region. If not for the smart grid investments we’ve made, that storm would have caused nearly twice as many interruptions and restoration would have taken two weeks, as it did in parts of Iowa that were hit by the same storm.”
ComEd’s investments to improve grid reliability and performance create jobs and drive economic investment, including creating opportunities for diverse suppliers in local communities. A report to the ICC this week shows ComEd spent a record $894 million – or 42 percent of its total supplier spend – with minority- and woman-owned businesses in 2020, bringing its total spend with diversity-certified suppliers to $5.5 billion since 2012.
ComEd’s distribution rate increase of about 20 cents per month will support investments to expand access to clean energy through private and community solar and support the growing demand among motorists and fleet vehicle managers for electric vehicles. The utility is also in a multi-year program to increase customer savings through Voltage Optimization technology, which is creating up to 2 percent in annual energy savings for an average customer. Investments are also being made in advanced communications and wireless technology to enable an array of smart city technologies that monitor air quality, traffic and parking; as well as smart streetlights, flooding detection, and intelligent waste management.
ComEd also submitted today to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) a Formula Rate Update request calling for a monthly increase of about 70 cents for transmission services, which are included in customers’ electricity supply charges. The increase reflects costs of expanding power capacity to meet the needs of towns and cities, support highway construction, as well as wind and solar development. Demand for new transmission capacity is also driven by a growing data center sector, which places a high priority on ComEd’s reliability performance, competitive electric rates and access to 100 percent renewable energy sources through the competitive market in Illinois.
If approved, the increase in distribution and the transmission services charge would bring the total average monthly bill for ComEd residential customers to about $83, which would be lower than customer bills in 2008. This includes a net increase of about 70 cents for energy supply based on the spring energy procurement that was approved by the ICC on April 9.
ComEd’s average residential rates are 17 percent lower than rates in the 10 largest U.S. metropolitan areas according to the most recent survey by the Edison Electric Institute. ComEd’s average commercial rates are 18 percent lower than rates in the top 20 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. ComEd’s energy efficiency program has helped, saving customers more than $5.3 billion on energy bills since 2008. Total bills include energy supply, which accounts for almost half of the monthly bill, and ComEd passes these costs along to customers without profit or markup.
Recognizing that many Illinois families continue to be adversely affected by economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, ComEd recently increased financial assistance funding by $9 million with the approval of the ICC to help customers regain their financial footing. ComEd increased the amount of funds available to provide more one-time bill credits of up to $500, until funds were exhausted. Credits were available to eligible residential customers who had outstanding balances or were looking to reconnect their electric service. Through June 30, 2021 ComEd offers extended payment arrangements, which allow eligible customers facing financial hardship to spread outstanding balances over 18 monthly installments with no money down. All other eligible residential customers with outstanding balances can enroll in an 18-month payment plan with a 10-percent down payment through June 30, 2021.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 100 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
ComEd Media Relations