Madigan disappointed in state agency's ruling

Bryan Cohen May 26, 2011, 1:49am


CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released a statement Tuesday after the Illinois Commerce Commission approved a rate hike request by Commonwealth Edison Co.

The approval of the approximate $156 million rate hike will add around $3.15 a month to an average residential customer's electricity bill, the Chicago Tribune reported. The original request by ComEd was for $396 million, which would have added an average of around $5 a month to an average resident's bill.

"I am extremely disappointed that in the midst of a terrible economy, the ICC's decision will require ComEd customers to pay higher electricity bills," Madigan said, "We not only opposed ComEd's rate hike request, but presented evidence showing that ComEd's current rates should be lowered instead of increased."

Madigan and a coalition of consumer advocates including the AARP, the Citizens Utility Board, and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law had met to announce their opposition to a related proposal for House Bill 14 on May 18. The proposed legislastion would allow ComEd to set utility rates by formula and undercut the ICCs authority. The bill could be called for a House vote on Friday, The Associated Press reported.

"The ICC's decision today clearly demonstrates why state legislators should reject ComEd's proposal gutting the regulatory process and guaranteeing that consumers pay increasingly higher bills every year, so Com Ed can lock in double-digit profits for the next decade," Madigan said.

The legislation would cap electricity rate increases at 2.5 percent annually for three years in an effort to support a statewide electricity grid update. ComEd says that the improvement would reduce consumer energy costs by typing energy output to demand.

The new electric delivery rates will take effect June 1.

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