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A summer special: ComEd prices are falling

Households that get their power from the utility will see a 7 percent price cut beginning in June. Those who buy from alternative suppliers? Check your bills to see if you’re paying too much.

By: Steve Daniels |

On June 1, your electricity price will be lower if you’re a Commonwealth Edison customer.

The price ComEd customers will pay for energy is dropping to its lowest level in two years, thanks to continuing declines in wholesale power prices. The price, determined after the yearly spring auction of power generators conducted by the Illinois Power Agency, will be 6.725 cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s a 7 percent reduction from 7.219 cents currently.

The price will be in effect from June through September and then will readjust in October for the following eight months.

The price change will save an average homeowner about $18 over those four months. If it holds for the next eight months, it will result in rough annual savings of $37 to $53 depending on the size of the home, and more for large homes.

The change in ComEd’s price doesn’t affect the one in three Chicago-area households who buy their electricity from an alternative supplier. Those prices are set via a contract and frequently are higher than ComEd’s, though customers with alternative suppliers often don’t realize that. Everyone in northern Illinois pays ComEd to deliver the power even if they buy it from another firm.

Falling power prices are a boon to consumers. But they’re a source of economic stress for certain power producers, particularly ComEd’s Chicago-based parent Exelon, which owns and runs five nuclear power stations in northern Illinois. Exelon warned earlier this year that three of its five plants were at risk of early shutdown if they aren’t subsidized. Illinois in 2016 moved to subsidize one Exelon plant in northern Illinois and another downstate to the tune of an extra $2 or so on typical monthly residential electric bills.