ComEd Requests $396 Million Rate Hike

Utility wants to jack rates by about 7% to pay for "smart meters"

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 PM CDT
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ComEd Requests $396 Million Rate Hike

Brace yourself. Another rate increase from Commonwealth Edison might be on the way.

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Brace yourself. Another rate increase from Commonwealth Edison might be on the way.

The utility on Wednesday filed for a $396 million rate hike. ComEd said the money is needed to modernize its "smart grids" technology that will result in fewer power outages.

If approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission, the average $86 residential monthly bill would see an increase of seven percent -- about $6 per month.

The executive director of consumer watchdog Citizens Utility Board, said consumer advocates would fight to reduce the increase.

"The rate request couldn’t come at a worse possible time, with a struggling economy," said David Kolata, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

The sentiment was shared by AARP Illinois, which encouraged the ICC to thoroughly review the request.

"Illinoisans should not have to make a choice between keeping their lights on and filling a prescription or buying groceries," said Associate State Director Scott Musser in a written statement.

If approved, the new rates would not take effect until next June.

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