File Photo – ComEd Truck | Photo: Tracy Mathesius

ComEd is asking Illinois state regulators for a $199 million increase in electricity delivery charges, which, if approved, would increase monthly residential bills by $2.20.

ComEd announced on Friday they have submitted the request to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).

The request was made “to sustain improvements in reliability for residential and commercial customers and support the transition to 100% clean energy,” ComEd said.

If the ICC approves the request, residential customers will see a monthly increase of about $2.20 starting in January 2023.

However, ComEd estimates that offsets driven by a reduction in energy capacity costs will result in a total average monthly bill lower than current bills for January 2023.

“Even with the requested increase in delivery charges for 2022 and before expected upcoming offsets, ComEd’s residential customer rates next January are expected to be at least 10% below the average of rates in the 10 largest U.S. metropolitan areas,” ComEd said in a statement.

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Friday marks the beginning of an eight-month process where the ICC and other groups will review ComEd’s proposal.

State regulators will look at things such as ComEd’s actual operating costs for last year and expected investments for this year to decide if the rate increase is “prudent and reasonable.”

The ICC is reviewing a proposal to advance to customers $65 million in deferred income tax benefits which would offset 82 cents of the monthly charge increase.

ComEd said that the capacity charges customers pay to meet high power demand are expected to decline by 65% this year.

In February, ComEd’s average monthly residential bill was $89.49, which is slightly less than the $90 total bill in January 2015, ComEd said.

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) said in a statement they will review ComEd’s request and “fight every dollar that can’t be justified.”

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“This is bad news for Illinois consumers who are coming off the most expensive winter heating season in more than a decade, and it’s why we’re working to build a more consumer-friendly rate-setting system in Illinois,” CUB said.

The rate increase would be the largest by ComEd in eight years, CUB said.

It comes after ComEd paid a $200 million fine in July 2020 to resolve a federal criminal investigation into an alleged bribery scheme.

Federal prosecutors said ComEd “arranged jobs, vendor subcontracts, and monetary payments associated with those jobs and subcontracts, for various associates of a high-level elected official for the state of Illinois, to influence and reward the official’s efforts to assist ComEd with respect to legislation concerning ComEd and its business.”

ComEd CEO Gil Quiniones said, “As we bring more renewable energy like wind and solar onto the power grid to support the state’s ambitious clean energy goals, we must enhance our infrastructure to safely integrate these resources and ensure the more than 9 million people we serve can continue to count on reliable and affordable energy.”

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“The grid was designed decades before widescale adoption of renewables, electric vehicles, digital devices, industrial electrification and emerging sectors like indoor agriculture. We will continue working with local leaders and community groups to ensure the grid can meet the needs of all customers in the 21st century,” Quiniones added.