ComEd Losing Customers

First time in 56 years

Even the electricity business is going to hell.

"ComEd CEO Frank Clark said Friday that the number of the utility’s customers has fallen by 17,000 this year," Crain's reports.

That hasn't happened in 56 years.

“This is the first time we’ve ever seen it," Clark said during an analysts’ call for ComEd parent Exelon.

ComEd has 3.8 million customers in its northern Illinois service territory, but the dip in accounts is an interesting economic indicator - and as much as we'd like to think, it's likely not due to crappy service.

Instead, according to ComEd at least, the drop-off is likely due to foreclosures forcing families to drop service and move in with friends or family. And not enough people using fans this summer, apparently.

ComEd parent company Exelon saw its net income drop 12 percent in the last quarter.

"Exelon said it saw a reduced load at both Commonwealth Edison Co. and Peco Energy, primarily driven by current economic conditions and the impact of poor weather conditions in the latter's service territory," MarketWatch reports.

Bloomberg notes that Exelon announced last month that it would cut about 500 jobs and freeze the salaries of its executives.

“When you look at what is happening with the economy and what is happening with power prices, there is no question that the environment for merchant generators is a difficult one,” Paul Patterson, an analyst at Glenrock Associates LLC in New York, told Bloomberg.

"Cost-cutting is a growing focus as utilities try to keep their expenses in line with slumping revenue," the Wall Street Journal notes.

The gas company is sure to follow.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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