ComEd Customers To Get 46.2 Million In Refunds For ‘Smart Grid’ Settlement

ComEd Customers To Get Refunds In 'Smart Grid' Settlement

ComEd customers are set to receive a total of $46.2 million in refunds for rate increases dating to 2008, the state attorney general’s office announced  Thursday.

ComEd residential customers will see the refunds, averaging about $8, credited to their accounts in their November electricity bills.

The refunds are tied to settlement agreements of two lawsuits between state Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the utility, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Exelon Corp. Madigan’s office said the refunds will be based in part on electricity use in October 2014.

The settlement means customers will get their refunds faster than they otherwise would have, according to a statement from ComEd.

“We are pleased to reach an agreement with the Attorney General and other parties and to resolve this matter in the best interest of our customers,” said Thomas O’Neill, ComEd senior vice president and general counsel in a statement.

Madigan’s office challenged ComEd’s 2008 rate increases that included surcharges on customer bills to pay for a “smart grid” pilot program. The court ruled that the Illinois Commerce Commission overstepped its authority in 2008 when it allowed a rider totaling $5 million to be tacked on to customers’ bills to pay for a pilot program in the Chicago area.

A second lawsuit challenged the ICC’s method to approve rate increases to cover ComEd’s capital investments. The court agreed with Madigan and a group of industrial customers known as the Illinois Industrial Energy Consumers that  argued that ComEd inflated the value of its investments, leading to erroneous rate hikes for customers.

In 2010, an appellate court agreed with the ruling and the ICC ordered $36.7 million in refunds. ComEd challenged the ICC’s authority to order the refunds. In 2013, an appellate court upheld the decision that ComEd owed refunds to customers.


Source:  Chicago Tribune


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