* The heds…
* Tribune: ComEd rate hike request would add $6 to monthly bills
* Crain’s: ComEd wants $311 million rate hike in 2014
* Sun-Times: ComEd wants rate hike but says bills will be lower
* The Tribune explains the reasons behind the higher rate…
Commonwealth Edison said Monday that it will charge $6 more per month on average to deliver electricity to utility customers beginning in 2014 as a result of higher transmission costs and expenses it has incurred to modernize the electrical grid.
In a filing with the Illinois Commerce Commission Monday — its third under a new formula-based rate making system devised in 2011 — the utility requested $311 million in additional revenue from customers in 2014 for its role in delivering electricity, maintaining electrical lines and improving the electrical grid. That increase would amount to about $5 per month for the average electricity customer and must be approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
* Crain’s breaks down its $311 million number and provides some context…
ComEd filed for a $311 million increase in the revenue it receives from ratepayers, a figure that ComEd executives said will be more like $335 million once recently passed legislation by the General Assembly to increase the utility’s revenue becomes law.
Under the controversial 2011 “smart grid” law, enacted over Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto, ComEd is permitted to increase delivery rates annually over a decade to finance a $2.6 billion grid modernization program that includes the installation of “smart meters” in every home and business in northern Illinois.
After the ICC reduced ComEd’s rate hike last year, the utility delayed the planned installation of the meters for what it said were lack of funds. Executives said today that, if the bill just passed becomes law by June 15, the company will begin installing meters in the fourth quarter of this year and aims to install 60,000 in 2013.
Mr. Quinn is expected to veto that bill, but there are sufficient margins in both the state House and Senate to override a veto.
* And the Sun-Times explains its headline…
Despite the request, the average electric bill for a residential customer will fall from about $81 monthly to about $66, beginning in June — thanks to falling energy prices.
If the higher delivery rate is approved, bills will rise in January to an average of about $72 monthly — still about 10 percent below the current rate.
Bills will fall even with the higher delivery charges because power suppliers are producing energy more cheaply, ComEd officials said.