For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
2015 Capital Investment Improving Service, Reliability, and Savings Options for Customers
CHICAGO (April 13, 2016) ComEd today filed its annual delivery service rate update with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to reflect $2.4 billion in capital investments the company made in 2015. Those investments – which include $663 million for Smart Grid-related work – have helped strengthen and modernize the electric system, resulting in record power reliability and customer satisfaction, operational savings, and new ways to save on electric bills for ComEd customers.
ComEd is requesting a rate increase of approximately $138 million – about $2 per month for the average residential customer beginning in 2017 – to cover actual costs and investment obligations of modernizing the grid. The request is associated with one of the peak investment years of the Smart Grid Law – a 10-year grid-strengthening and modernization effort that ComEd is delivering on budget and ahead of schedule.
ComEd also made a filing today at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking an increase in transmission rates that will add about $1 to residential customers' bills beginning June 2016. The transmission rate increase request reflects investment in new transmission capacity and in grid resiliency and security, including enhancements to protect physical assets and mitigate the risk of a cybersecurity attack.
These rate increases are expected to be partially offset by decreases in supply costs (approximately $3) as a result of the 2016-2017 capacity auctions, which will go into effect starting in June through May 2017.
The Smart Grid program is working, with system investments producing tangible benefits for customers such as record power reliability, millions of avoided outages and faster restoration times when outages do occur – all of which adds up to $1.1 billion in societal savings for ComEd customers. Additionally, more than 2 million customers now have smart meters, allowing them to take advantage of smart meter-enabled programs that let them control their energy usage and save money. For example, customers can earn a credit on their bill for lowering electricity usage during high demand periods by participating in the Peak Time Savings Program. In 2015 customers saved nearly $400,000 with this program and participation for 2016 is nearly triple that of 2015, with enrollment still underway. Another program is Hourly Pricing allowing residential customers to pay the hourly prices for electricity, which means customers can save by using electricity when prices are lower.
"The investments we're making and innovations we're introducing are paying significant dividends for our customers," said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO, ComEd. "ComEd is committed to delivering on the Smart Grid Law in a timely, cost-conscious manner, and we are proud to be creating a stronger, smarter power delivery system for our customers, while also contributing to economic development in Illinois through the creation of thousands of new jobs and working with multiple local and diverse suppliers."
EIMA established a performance-based rate-setting model that allows for cost savings to be directly passed on to customers. A lower 2014 capital spend, cost containment and strong financial management allowed ComEd to decrease delivery rates by $66.7 million – or about $1 per month for the average residential customer – in 2016, providing a reprieve amidst the modest rate increases associated with a historic and much-needed investment in the electric system. ComEd rates also continue to be a good value; as of 2015, ComEd's total residential rate was 20 percent less than rates in other major U.S. metropolitan areas and 2 percent lower than the national average. Adjusted for inflation, ComEd average residential rates in 2015 were 21 percent less than in 1995.
Additionally, ComEd has dedicated $10 million in assistance funds again for the fifth consecutive year to help customers facing financial hardships and potential disconnection; these dollars are part of a five-year, $50 million commitment to help ComEd customers struggling to pay their utility bills, a result of the Smart Grid Law enacted in 2011.
The Smart Grid also is helping to power economic development in state of Illinois, creating 4,500 jobs and helping to grow local and diverse businesses. Two new training centers – one in Rockford and one in Chicago – will serve as the training ground for the workforce of the future and provide opportunities to educate students about energy efficiency and careers in energy.
Today marks the sixth formula rate filing under the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA) or Smart Grid Law passed by the General Assembly in 2011, which established a performance-based formula ratemaking model that holds utilities accountable for achieving a broad range of metrics. The utility's overall revenue request reflects the previous year's actual expenses and the current year's projected annual investments. These costs and investments will be reviewed by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and other stakeholders over the next eight months, with the ICC ultimately approving the amount of any rate increase.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit
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