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ComEd Files for Decrease in Customer Electricity Rates

By: BusinessWire.com |

ComEd is asking for a decrease of $6 million in the amount it charges customers for the delivery of electricity compared to the rates in effect in January of this year. If approved, the request will decrease the average total monthly residential bill by 38 cents, bringing the average monthly residential bill down to about $83, which would be lower than ComEd residential customer bills in 2008.

The filing made today with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) is the fourth decrease in nine rate requests since the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA) or “Smart Grid Law” was enacted in 2011.

While lower natural gas prices generally have helped to lower consumers’ electricity bills in Illinois and throughout the nation, the improved performance of the ComEd system is creating savings that are passed on to customers and helping keep bills stable, according to Joe Dominguez, CEO, ComEd.

“ComEd customers have realized $655 million in direct economic value from avoided customer interruptions as a result of smart grid investments,” said Dominguez. “And new energy efficiency solutions are reducing energy consumption, which creates additional savings for customers and contributes to a cleaner environment.”

Since 2012, ComEd has avoided more than 11 million customer interruptions, due in part to distribution automation or digital “smart switches” that automatically reroute power around potential problem areas. ComEd’s average residential monthly usage was 608 kWhs in 2018, down from 694 kWhs in 2008 when ComEd launched its energy efficiency program, which has saved customers more than $3 billion.

ComEd’s 2019 revenue request includes costs associated with growth in new business for commercial and industrial expansion in new data centers and distribution centers. Also included are new energy efficiency technologies, such as Voltage Optimization (VO), which helps the utility deliver a more precise amount of electricity, reducing costs, energy consumption, and carbon emissions.

The Smart Grid Law established a performance-based formula ratemaking model. It provides Illinois utilities greater predictability over rate recovery to make long-term investments while holding them accountable for achieving a broad range of metrics. These include improved reliability, reducing estimated bills, reducing customer costs associated with unaccounted for energy consumption and theft, and increasing support for minority- and women-owned businesses, among others. The annual formula rate update filing considers a utility’s costs for the current year and actual costs compared to forecast from the previous year.

Last year, ComEd achieved an overall reliability rate of 99.97, the highest in company history and ComEd customer satisfaction reached an all-time high. Additionally, in 2018 customers saw record reliability in the city of Chicago, where the frequency of outages has been reduced by nearly 60 percent since 2012.

A cost benefit analysis of the smart grid program shows investments will create approximately $13.6 billion in quantifiable economic value over 20 years for ComEd customers and the broader community. The $2.6 billion investment program is largely completed. ComEd will install the last of more than 4 million smart meters this year while digital upgrades to ComEd substations will continue into 2021. Later this month, ComEd will submit its annual Supplier Diversity report to the Illinois Commerce Commission. It will show the company has injected almost $14 billion of supply chain spend into the Illinois economy, including $4 billion in Illinois diverse supply chain investments.