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ComEd Rate Filing Supports Needed Improvements in Electric Reliability and Transition to Clean Energy

April 22, 2022
ComEd has submitted to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) a request for an increase of US$ 199 million in electricity delivery charges.

ComEd has submitted to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) a request for an increase of US$ 199 million in electricity delivery charges to sustain improvements in reliability for residential and commercial customers and support the transition to 100% clean energy. While the request would increase monthly residential delivery charges by about US$ 2.20, there will be offsets and decreases driven mainly by a reduction in energy capacity costs, which ComEd estimates will result in a total average monthly bill next Jan. that will likely be lower than current bills.

The ICC is reviewing a proposal to advance to customers US$ 65 million in deferred income tax benefits, which would offset 82 cents of the monthly delivery charge increase. In addition, the capacity charges that customers pay to ensure enough power supply to meet demand when it is highest are expected to decline by 65% this year.

“As we bring more renewable energy like wind and solar onto the power grid to support the state’s ambitious clean energy goals, we must enhance our infrastructure to safely integrate these resources and ensure the more than 9 million people we serve can continue to count on reliable and affordable energy,” said Gil Quiniones, CEO, ComEd. “The grid was designed decades before wide-scale adoption of renewables, electric vehicles, digital devices, industrial electrification and emerging sectors like indoor agriculture. We will continue working with local leaders and community groups to ensure the grid can meet the needs of all customers in the 21st century.”

The rate filing began an eight-month process during which the ICC and other groups will review ComEd’s proposal, including its actual operating costs for 2021 and expected investments for 2022. Regulators must find all of these costs prudent and reasonable before including them in customer rates that take effect in Jan. 2023.

Competitive Rates, Energy Efficiency

ComEd’s average total monthly residential bill was US$ 89.49 in February, slightly less than the US$ 90 total bill in January 2015. Even with the requested increase in delivery charges for 2022 and before expected upcoming offsets, ComEd’s residential customer rates next January are expected to be at least 10% below the average of rates in the 10 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

ComEd is focused on delivering value to customers and energy efficiency plays a key role. Customers have saved a total of more than US$ 6 billion on their bills as a result of the energy efficiency program that ComEd launched in 2008, with nearly 460,000 families and businesses participating in 2021. ComEd is expanding support for energy efficiency in line with Illinois’ new clean energy law, including programs to help low-income customers save money and energy and electrify their homes to reduce fossil fuel use.

Expanding Solar Energy

ComEd continues to increase customer access to clean and affordable solar energy. By the end of this year, it expects to have more than 80 community solar projects interconnected to its grid, enabling approximately 25,000 residential customers to realize the benefits of solar energy without installing solar panels on their own homes. Since 2019, ComEd has provided more than US$ 44 million to commercial and industrial customers through the distributed generation rebate program, which pays US$ 250 per kilowatt-hour of installed solar power capacity, reducing the upfront costs of rooftop solar.

The transition to clean energy requires advanced technologies to safely integrate distributed energy resources, including renewable energy like solar, wind and battery storage. ComEd is developing software that supports monitoring and coordinated control of solar and wind energy. It’s also conducting pilot projects that demonstrate the value of energy storage systems and their role in promoting reliability, mitigating the intermittency of renewable energy, and deferring or avoiding the cost of traditional grid investments.

Other investments covered by ComEd’s rate request include additional installation of “smart switches” that automatically route power around problem areas. Since 2012, this technology has helped spare ComEd customers more than 17 million service interruptions and saved more than US$ 3 billion in outage costs. In 2021, ComEd also completed digital upgrades to selected substations to enhance remote monitoring capabilities and reduce the risk of outages due to wildlife contacts and extreme weather.

Driving Economic Growth

ComEd grid investments are making a positive economic impact in northern Illinois. In 2021, ComEd helped bring to the region more than 16 new commercial projects, including six new data centers, which will support 4700 new jobs and generate more than US$ 3 billion in investments. ComEd spent US$ 893 million with minority- and woman-owned businesses in 2021, bringing its total spend with diversity-certified suppliers to US$ 6.4 billion since 2012.

ComEd customers experiencing difficulty paying their electric bill are encouraged to call ComEd at 1-800-334-7661 (1-800-EDISON-1). Information is also available here. ComEd can help connect eligible customers to funding available through state and federal assistance programs, including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is available through May 31, 2022.

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