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Photograph: CC/Flickr/Christian Haugen

New ComEd rates will increase your monthly bill in 2017

Written by
Jonathan Samples
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Between rising water and sewer fees and the city’s new disposable bag tax, most Chicagoans have become numb to the phrase “higher rates.”

On Tuesday, the Illinois Commerce Commission issued an order allowing Commonwealth Edison to increase electricity delivery rates by just over 5 percent—a move that’s expected to add about $2 to the average residential customer’s monthly bill. The new rates are expected to kick in with the January billing cycle.

The rates charged by electric distribution companies such as ComEd are set annually as part of the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act, which most of us know as the smart grid law. The 2011 law created a prescribed formula rate procedure for ComEd to recoup “actual, prudently incurred costs for the delivery of electricity to customers,” according to the ICC. Initially, ComEd requested an increase of $137.51 million for 2017, but the ICC adjusted the company’s expenses and rate base to lower the proposed increase by about $10 million.

ComEd’s annual revenue will jump by $127.5 million as a result of the new rates, which the company said represent money it has spent over the last two years on smart meter installations and other costs associated with the smart grid rollout. "It reflects the actual cost we're spending on the investment," Christine Brinkman, director of rates and revenue for ComEd, told the Chicago Tribune.

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