ComEd’s summer power price is heading up – Utilities News

on May19

19 May 2017 | 10:30 am

Commonwealth Edison customers will be paying more this summer to keeping their air conditioners humming.

ComEd’s power price beginning June 1, which the utility filed yesterday with state regulators, will be 9 percent higher than it is now. The current charge of 6.32 cents per kilowatt-hour is going up to 6.89 cents.

And by the end of the year, the power charge will rise a little more. Combined with a new surcharge going into effect in June to subsidize financially ailing nuclear plants, customers will see an 8 percent increase in their total electricity rates.

The reason isn’t that energy prices are increasing. They remain at historically low levels.

Rather, the “capacity” charge all customers pay qualified power generators to run when they’re needed most is rising beginning in June. Those fees are embedded in the power price customers see on their ComEd bill.

Power accounts for about half of the typical electric bill, but is passed through without markup by ComEd. The utility makes its money delivering the juice, and rates for that have risen steadily to cover the cost of ComEd’s grid improvements and systemwide smart-meter installations.

ComEd’s energy price will edge up a bit more beginning in October, increasing to 7.15 cents per kilowatt-hour. That will run through May 2018.

That means that beginning in the fall, the typical household will spend $5 more per month than it does today on electricity.

In addition, ComEd has filed for a new surcharge on customer bills, which is expected to take effect late this year. That will cover the cost of subsidizing two Illinois nuclear power plants owned by ComEd parent Exelon as part of a wide-ranging energy law signed in December by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

That will add another 0.195 cents per kilowatt-hour to customer bills.

The surcharge and the increase in the power charge combined will add more than a penny per kilowatt-hour to electric bills compared with today—about an 8 percent increase all told.

A ComEd spokeswoman points out that a current 0.33-cent surcharge to pay for energy-efficiency programs will temporarily go away beginning in June—another impact of the new energy law. That will offset some of the increase.

But that fee will resume at higher levels in future years as a new, expanded version of the energy-efficiency program ramps up.



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