CHICAGO, August 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — We are disappointed with today’s decision by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and plan to file a request for a rehearing. A $36 million reimbursement is less than the reimbursement recommended by CUB, the Illinois Office of the Attorney General and the City of Chicago. Additionally, this case was limited to direct costs and only partially compensated clients for ComEd’s misconduct – people deserve better as a result of Illinois’ largest utility scandal of all time. CUB continues to work on behalf of consumers for full restitution, as well as the most consumer-friendly implementation of the Climate and Fair Employment Act (CEJA) to protect customers from unwarranted rate increases. .
- On August 17the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) voted 3 to 0 to order ComEd to offer its customers a $31,296,338 reimbursement in connection with the company’s corruption scandal which broke two years previously. The reimbursement, of approximately one $4.80 bill credit on average, will be delivered to customers on their April 2023 bills. [Another $5,019,312, plus interest, will be added to the refund, upon Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval, making the total refund at least $36.3 million.]
- In July 2020ComEd was fined $200 million by federal authorities, after acknowledging a bribery scheme to pass legislation in 2011 that implemented a “formula rate” system. This pricing scheme has left electric customers vulnerable to hundreds of millions of dollars in rate hikes over the past decade. (To note: In 2013, ComEd went back to the General Assembly to adjust the formula rate because the utility did not agree with the ICC’s interpretation of the law. The CUB opposed the 2013 bill for the same reasons it opposed the 2011 law.)
- In October 2020, in a federal lawsuit, CUB alleged that ComEd enriched itself “at the expense of Illinois utility customers.” The consumer watchdog has joined a similar state class action lawsuit.
- In September 2021, a judge dismissed the federal class action lawsuit. In December 2021a judge dismissed the state’s lawsuit.
- The Climate and Fair Employment Act (CEJA), which was passed in September 2021, will replace the unfair formula rate system. CEJA also called for an ICC investigation into reimbursement. During this investigation, on which the ICC ruled on Wednesday, the CUB, the Illinois Office of the Attorney General and the City of Chicago pleaded for a $45 million reimbursement for ComEd customers. The ICC investigation was narrow in scope, focusing only on direct costs and not on the harm caused to consumers by paying higher electricity rates.
CUB is Illinois’ primary oversight body for not-for-profit public services. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small business customers. Since then, it has saved consumers more than $20 billion helping to block rate hikes, secure refunds, and fight for clean, low-cost energy. For more information, call CUB’s Consumer Helpline, 1-800-669-5556, or visit its website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.
SOURCE Citizens Utility Board