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ComEd Allowed to Raise Rates

Illinois Commerce Commission approves delivery rate hike.

The Illinois Commerce Commission on Tuesday approved a rate hike for ComEd.

Crain's Chicago Business reports the $156 million rate hike is roughly half of what the utility giant originally sought:

ComEd initially asked for a $396-million rate hike when it filed its proposal with the ICC last June. That would have increased the average household electric bill 7%, the utility said then.

On Tuesday, the commission granted ComEd an increase in the amount it charges to deliver electricity to homes and commercial customers. The hike equals about a $3.15 increase to a ComEd customer's monthly bill, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Reacting to the developments, the Citizens Utility Board, a nonprofit energy watchdog group, issued a statement deriding the ICC's decision.

"As Illinois consumers get gouged at the pump and prepare for yet another expensive summer air-conditioning season, this is the worst possible time for a rate hike," CUB director David Kolata said in a news release. CUB has pledged to appeal the ICC's decision.

The rate hike takes place even as ComEd continues to lobby for the passage of legislation that could pave the way for automatic annual rate hikes — without prior approval from the ICC — ostensibly to help pay for the .

ComEd officials have said the bill, HB 14, is a key component to make upgrades to the power grid and prevent outages.

But the plan has drawn strict opposition from powerful politicians and groups across the state, from Governor Pat Quinn and Attorney General Lisa Madigan to CUB and Illinois AARP.

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