Electricity Rates Continue to Increase
If you’ve noticed an increase in your electricity bill, you’re not the only one. Illinois electricity rates have been increasing this year, in part due to natural gas prices. But Illinois in particular is looking at some sharp rate increases in the future. Grid updates, renewable energy, and increased demand are all partly to blame. We’re here to break it down, and tell you how to keep your bills low.
Ameren Increasing Electricity Rates
Ameren recently filed a four-year plan to increase their rates. But why? In a large part, due to the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act. This law passed in 2021 states, among other things, that Illinois will phase out carbon emissions by 2045. And to meet the future clean energy standards, Ameren must update the grid. Part of these upgrades are to make sure that residents have reliable power, even when renewable energy sources like solar are unavailable.
Com-Ed Bogged Down by Scandal
Meanwhile in Chicago, Com-Ed is in trouble. In 2020, Com-Ed admitted to charges of bribery and paid a $200 Million fine. Now that Com-Ed has filed their own four year plan to increase rates, it’s becoming clear that citizens and lawmakers aren’t willing to forget it either. Com-Ed states that the increase is needed to upgrade the electric grid due to higher usage.
However, the filed increase fell on the heels of a blocked deal between Com-Ed and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. In January, Mayor Lightfoot proposed extending the current deal between the city of Chicago and Com-Ed utilities for 15 years. City officials blocked it. They stated that the proposed agreement between the city and ComEd “fails to meet the needs of Chicago for a future with clean, affordable and reliable electricity, and chooses to instead continue business as usual with a corrupt private business profiting off of ratepayers”.
In the Mayor’s own letter to Com-Ed released after federal corruption charges were filed, she demanded that the utility make an ethics reform plan to rebuild trust with the city. The plan includes neither ethics reforms, nor reaching the city’s goal of 100% on clean energy. Four key players charged in the Com-Ed bribery case go to trial in March. As more news comes to light, the deal between Mayor Lightfoot and Com-Ed may be in even more trouble.
What to Do About Increasing Energy Rates
The Citizens Utility Board is fighting the increase in Illinois electricity rates by both Ameren and Com-Ed. They’re currently asking for citizens’ to sign petitions and support their legal team. They also offer resources to help pay for high utility bills.
As for keeping your own bills low, the best thing you can do is shop for a better electricity rate. While the legal battles continue, you need to keep your bills affordable. Shop for the best rates, compare energy providers, and find the best plan for you all in one place. Visit https://www.ilenergyratings.com today!