Chicago, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 18, 2007 – Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) has asked for a $361 million increase in the rates it charges customers to deliver power to their homes – but the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) feels the request is unwarranted.
CUB Executive Director David Kolata said: “We’ve seen no evidence that ComEd deserves a big rate increase from consumers – especially since the company pushed regulators for a delivery rate hike of about $346 million just last year. In fact, at current rates, ComEd makes more than enough money to provide safe, reliable service and provide a healthy return to investors.
“The last time we looked at ComEd’s books, just over a year ago, we found the company had understated its income and padded its expenses to justify socking consumers with a big rate hike. The ICC agreed and gave the company just a fraction of what it asked for. We suspect ComEd is up to the same tricks again, which is why CUB will be scrutinizing this latest rate hike and fighting to make sure consumers don’t pay a penny more than they should on their electric bills.”
The utility says it needs the rate increase – amounting to an increase of about 8 per cent, or about $6 a month, to the average residential customer’s electric bill – to improve service in certain areas and to allow it to replace aging infrastructure. Part of the problem, though, is that rates have already risen steeply in 2007, attributed to Illinois’ plans to deregulate the utility industry.