Commonwealth Edison History
Commonwealth Edison began as the Western Edison Light Company in 1882, one of several companies owned by Thomas Edison. By 1887, the company had acquired other small local electric companies and reorganized as the Chicago Edison Co. Yet while demand was growing, the company struggled because it charged high rates.
In 1892, Edison's former personal secretary, Samuel L. Insull, moved to Chicago to become president of Chicago Edison. During an 1894 trip to Brtain, Insull learned about an electric metering system that billed customers according to their usage. Insull brought this technology back to Chicago and offered customers a two-tiered rate system. Many homeowners found their bills lowered by 32 percent within a year. The company then installed giant steam turbines to generate huge amounts of electricity by using Alternating Current (AC) and then set up central power stations to interconnect these generators. Soon it was serving even more customers.
In 1897, Insull formed the Commonwealth Electric Light & Power Co. to move all the different generating companies it owned under Chicago Edison's control. Later in 1907, Insull merged Commonwealth Electric Company and Chicago Edison Company to form Commonwealth Edison (ComEd).
Following World War II, ComEd's customer base expanded. With rising demand, the company grew into a world leader of nuclear power, becoming the largest operator of nuclear power facilities in the United States.
In 1994, ComEd merged with PECO Energy Company of Philadelphia, under the then new parent company, Exelon. When Illinois deregulated its electricity market in 1997, ComEd sold its fleet of power plants to private owners. It then switched to being an electricity-delivery only utility. The utility now manages a network of 90,000 miles of power lines that delivers electricity to 3.8 million homes and businesses across northern Illinois.
ComEd is a strong partner in the community it serves. The company awards grants of up to $10,000 on programs focused on education, environment, arts and culture, and community development programming through out ComEd's service area of northern Illinois.
Commonwealth Edison Service Territory
ComEd serves approximately 3.8 million electricity customers in some or all of these Illinois Counties:
ComEd serves these cities:
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How to Start New ComEd Service
Starting service with Commonwealth Edison is easy and convenient. Just visit their web site to start your electric service. You can create your My Account online profile once your service has been activated.
Customers can also apply to start service by calling ComEd's customer service at 1-800-334-7661.
Be ready to supply:
- Service Address: The address where you want your service turned on or switched.
- The start date for electricity service.
- Personal Information: You will need to provide a valid form of identification (such as a driver's license, SSN, or credit card) to validate your name and prior address. ComEd works with Experian to verify customer identity.
- Your contact information such as a phone number or e-mail address.
Once you have provided all of the required documentation, you should expect an acceptance or rejection within 48 business hours.
If your application is rejected, you have the right to obtain a written notification explaining why, plus an opportunity to rectify the issues to reapply. In Illinois, utility companies may deny your application for service if you owe them money for the same type of service at the same address or a different address.
Will I Need to Pay a Deposit?
In Illinois, no utility can require any new residential customer to pay a security deposit as a condition of receiving utility service. However, the utility can require a deposit if ONE of the following applies:
- Your previous service was disconnected for non-payment, and you did not pay the final bill.
- If you are already a ComEd customer and you had four late payments in the past 12 months.
- You are applying for new service for an address where the former customer was disconnected for non-payment and they still reside at the same address.
- Your credit score is below a predetermined minimum or you have no credit history.
- Your meter was tampered with at your previous service.
If you must pay a deposit -- Commonwealth Edison must notify you in writing no later than 45 days after your application for service is approved. IL law states that deposits cannot be greater than an estimated two months usage.
Customers don't need to pay the deposit all at once. You can rquest the utility to divide your security deposit into at least three installments. Commonwealth Edison can hold deposits for residential service for 12 months. If the customer pays their bill in full and on time for 12 consecutive months, the utility will refund the deposit plus interest.
Understand Commonwealth Edison Delivery and Supply Charges
In Illinois, residential customers pay for both the cost to deliver their electricity as well as for the amount of electricity supply that they use.
What Are Commonwealth Edison PTC Charges?
When deregulation began in Illinois, all utilities that wanted to participate in consumer choice had to sell off their generators and limit their business to energy delivery. However, the Illinois Commerce Commission requires these utilities to provide electricity supply at a default rate to customers in their service territory who don't shop for an alternate retail electricity supplier. As a result, these utilities must purchase their electricity supply for the default rate from generator companies.
The Illinois Power Agency (IPA) oversees Commonwealth Edison's default service rates. These rates represent the generation supply costs that are passed directly through the utility onto their customers without mark up. This default rate is also called the "Price to Compare" or PTC.
Price to Compare (PTC)
The PTC default rate represents the actual price (generation + transmission) the utility pays for the electricity. In other words, it not only includes the generator company's price for making the electricity but also the cost to transmit it from power stations over high tension power lines to Commonwealth Edison's local electrical switch yards. From there, the electricity is distributed throughout the Commonwealth Edison local electrical grid for delivery to homes.
The IPA administers a competitive bidding process each year to line up supply from generators for ComEd and other utilities in Illinois. Electricity supply rates are based upon market conditions during the billing period and will vary depending on where you live or do business. The Commonwealth Edison supply charge varies based on forecasted daily market prices. Consequently, the PTC electricity rates change on average every three to five months.
The PTC rate also includes ComEd's Purchased Electricity Adjustment ("PEA"). The PEA is a charge or credit on your bill to ensure that ComEd customers do not pay 0.5 cents/kWh more or less than ComEd's actual cost of purchased electricity. The PEA is calculated each month and so affects your bill differently each month.
Because electricity demand fluctuates due to seasonal weather, Commonwealth Edison's Supply charge rates can also vary seasonally; low some months, higher the next -- especially in summer when air conditioning usage can soar. With the default PTC rate, you can never be too sure what you'll pay from one month to the next.
Commonwealth Edison Current PTC Standard Residential Rates:6.872 cents per kWh in Commonwealth Edison, expires 3/31/2024
How Much Do Commonwealth Edison Charges Cost?
The US Energy Information Agency reports that in 2019, Illinois' residential customers used an average of about 709 kWh each month.
Therefore, an average residential PTC bill in the Commonwealth Edison roughly breaks down like this:
|Rate + IEDT per 709 kWh Used||Monthly Customer Charges||Total|
|PTC Supply Rate
(excluding other surcharges)
|Monthly Distribution Charges
(excluding riders, IDUFs, ISUFs, and other surcharges)
|$0.03688 per kWh||$13.36||$39.51|
Understand Illinois Energy Choice
Illinois electric consumers are free to choose to buy electricity from Alternate Retail Electricity Suppliers (ARES). These alternative suppliers shop deals with different electricity generators on the wholesale market to offer competitive rates. As such, their rates are not controlled by ICC nor do they include the same complicated supply surcharges that Commonwealth Edison does in its monthly PTC rate. This way, ARES are able to offer competitively priced fixed rate plans for a variety of term lengths.
Though it can seem confusing, shopping electricity plans is an easy process. The trick is finding the one that meets your needs.
That's why retail energy suppliers in Illinois offer two types of plans:
Your Energy Usage and Your Commonwealth Edison Bill
While your energy usage habits are unique to you, any Illinois native will tell you that winters are long and bitterly cold while summers can be hot, hazy, and humid. While your biggest energy usage will usually follow the weather, remember that all those other domestic activities, like cooking and cleaning, also add to your monthly bill.
Most IL homes rely on natural gas for heating. In 2009, only 17% of homes in the state rely on electricity for heat. However, in recent years, national home building trends increasingly rely on electric heating systems.
Most households in the midwest use air conditioning during the summer months. Though air conditioning use only makes up 2% of total annual energy usage, Illinois residents spend on average 5% of their annual energy costs on air conditioning. About 25% of IL households have window or wall-mounted AC systems but about 65% have central AC.
The remainder of energy use goes to water heating, refrigeration, lighting, electronics, clothes dryers, cooking, and small appliances.
Want to learn more about your home energy usage? Commonwealth Edison customers can track 24 months of their home's electric usage plus other relevant information on each monthly bill or by logging on to your Commonwealth Edison account.
The most effective way to cut your energy bills is to reduce your usage by sealing your doors and windows against winter and summer drafts. Adding insulation to your attic, sealing and insulating your basement, and purchasing a programmable or smart thermostat also improve your home's energy efficiency and help cut your electric bills. Your utility company can provide a wealth of resources and may offer programs to help you improve your home's energy performance.
Understand Your Commonwealth Edison Bill
The typical Commonwealth Edison bill contains many details that can be confusing to customers. However, there's lots of useful information to help you better understand your usage and what actually goes into your Commonwealth Edison rates. Below, we summarize the most important items you need to understand on a sample Commonwealth Edison Electric bill.
ComEd Sample Bill
- A: Service Summary This section shows the service date period, the service type, your name, address and phone number.
- B: Service Summary. This section shows your your current charges for Commonwealth Edison, the date the bill was issued and your 10 digit account number.
- C: Yearly Usage Summary. Here you can see a breakdown of your current month's usage and how it compare for the past 12 month period.
- D: Daily Usage Summary. This section shows your current month usage, the aveerage monthly temperature, and how it compares to your previous month's usage.
- E: Current Charges Summary. Here you can see a how much your energy supply this month cost you, whether it's from ComEd or your retail provider.
- F: Delivery Charges. This section shows the total charges from ComEd for delivering electricity to your home.
- G: Taxes and Fees and Total charges. Here is the total amount of taxes and fees you're being charged for your service. Above this are the current total charges due for this month's usage.
- H: Payment Stub. This section shows the current amount due from ComEd as well as your account number. If you mail your bill, be sure to include this payment stub with your payment.
- I: Meter Information. This section summarizes your meter's last read information that was used to bill you.
- J: ComEd Updates. Includes information about the current Price to Compare rate, ComEd's environmental disclosure statement, billing information, contact information for the ICC consumer division, etc.
- K: Charge Details. This section displays more detail about your supply charges (including PTC transmission and PEA amounts), your delivery charges, and taxes and fees.
- L: Charge Total Amount Shows the itemized charges total amount due.
- M: Ways to Pay Your ComEd Bill. This final section details how you can pay your monthly bill, including Online, the ComEd mobile Ap, by phone (fee applies), or in-person at authrozied agents throughout the area.
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Commonwealth Edison Coupons, Energy Promotions, Discounts, Rebates and Promo Codes
As your local electric utility, Commonwealth Edison offers several rebate and energy efficiency programs to help customers save money off their monthly bill by upgrading their home's energy performance. Some programs also offer money-saving incentives while others could make paying your monthly bills much easier during those expensive winter and summer months.
|Program Name||Program Type||Benefit|
|EnergyStar Rebate Program||Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs||
Commonwealth Edison residential customers can apply for generous rebates when they purchase EnergyStar qualifying appliances. These include Air Purifiers, laundry washers and dryers, dehumidifiers, refrigerator, and more.
|Smart Thermostat Rebates||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
Customers can save $100 when they choose a smart thermostat from a list of EnergyStar certified models, install it themselves, and then apply online for your smart thermostat rebate or download and fill out the ComEd Smart Thermostat Rebate Application.
|Residential Energy Assessment & Upgrades||Energy Efficiency Programs||
Customers can schedule a free virtual or in-home assessment with Commonwealth Edison and receive a smart thermostat at a discount, including installation. Also included are LED lights, water-saving faucets, and pipe insulation which can be installed during your in-home assessment or during a follow-up appointment.
|Heating and Cooling Rebate Program||Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs||
ComEd heating and cooling rebates make it easier to invest in efficient heating and cooling equipment for your home and save on your energy costs in the process. Substantial rebates are available for the follwing systems:
|Commonwealth Edison Payment Arrangements||Bill payment assistance||
Commonwealth Edison offers payment arrangements to allow residential customers to pay an overdue account balance while remaining connected. To qualify, customers must provide a down payment and then pay their outstanding balance over a period of 4 to 12 months.
|Residential Hardship||Bill payment assistance||
If you're a residential customer that has exhausted all other forms of assistance and is facing a hardship due to job loss, illness, military deployment, disability, or are a senior citizen on a fixed income, you may be eligible. As long as funding remains available, eligible recipients can apply once every two years for grants of up to $500 toward heating expenses. Applicants must contact the Community Action Agency nearest to you.
|Limited Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)||Bill payment assistance||
LIHEAP provides both regular and emergency financial grants to eligible households to help pay heating and/or utility bills. LIHEAP benefits are funded by the federal government and can be accessed through a Community Action Agency in your area.
Qualifying customers will have payments are made directly to the utility on their behalf, usually from October through March.
|CHAMP||Bill payment assistance for veterans||
ComEd helps activated and deployed members of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard, Reserves and honorably discharged veterans with paying their electric bills. The program offers an optional package of benefits to qualified military personnel who reside within ComEd's service territory and have fallen behind on their electric bill.
The program gives vets and active military families assistance through bill payment help up to $1,000, deferred payment plans, extends payment due dates, cancels late charges, and reduces deposits. To apply, Contact ComEd CARE at 888-806-CARE for more information.
Read Commonwealth Edison Reviews
Since Commonwealth Edison serves a large midwest market segment, Illinois residential customers throughout the state can get a better picture of how good a job it does by comparing it to similar sized utilities. While Commonwealth Edison is not rated with the BBB, the utility came in just below the average score for J.D. Power's 2020 utility residential customer satisfaction study.
|IL Energy Ratings Score||Better Business Bureau||J.D. Power 2020 Electricity Utility Study|
of 1000 pts
How Do I Get the Cheapest Commonwealth Edison Rate?
Shopping for a new Commonwealth Edison alternative retail electricity plan can seem bewildering at first. Once you understand how it works, though, it's an easy and straightforward process. That said, you should have these three things with you when you shop for electricity.
- Your current bill. Your past usage per billing period can help you estimate a how much a plan might cost you each month.
- The current Commonwealth Edison PTC rate. Knowing the current Commonwealth Edison supply price lets you compare rates offered by Retail energy suppliers. This way, you can get a better feel for what suppliers are offering, for how long, and if any of their incentives make their price work for your family's need.
- Your Commonwealth Edison customer account number. Your 10 digit account number is at the top of your bill. Having this handy lets you sign up with an Alternative Retail Supplier right away.
Commonwealth Edison Shopping Questions
The best way for a IL energy customer to avoid making a bad choice it to ask the right questions. That way, you can learn exactly the information that can save you money. When you shop for electricity service in Illinois, always be sure to ask these important questions:
- Is the rate variable or is it fixed?
- How long does the plan contract term run?
- Does the plan include any recurring monthly charges?
- Is the rate competitive with the current Commonwealth Edison supply rate annual average? Remember that Commonwealth Edison's rate changes monthly!
- Does the supplier offer any customer incentives or rewards programs?
- What happens when the contract with the ARES expires?
Other Commonly Asked Illinois Electricity Questions:
Who bills me? Commonwealth Edison sends a single bill that outlines and adds up your monthly charges.
What are the Terms of Service? In IL, energy choice plans must include Terms of Service that explain and identify specific charges and any fees a customer will face when they sign up for an electricity plan. Not all suppliers have the same terms. That's why all Illinois energy choice customers should read and understand the terms of service and contract summary for any plan they are interested in before they sign on to the plan.
What is the Right of Rescission? According to the Illinois Law, residential customers have the right to rescind or cancel an agreement with a retail electric supplier "within 10 calendar days after the electric utility processes the enrollment request".
What are early termination fees? Before 2020, switching retail suppliers before a contract ended used to involve paying early termination fees. However, Illinois electricity retail customers can now terminate their contracts with alternative retail electric suppliers at any time without any termination fees or penalties!
Where can I find more information on my usage? Commonwealth Edison customers can request 12 months of their energy usage free of charge. This is most easily available through your Commonwealth Edison online account.
Compare ComEd Electricity Rates in Your Area
Bill Questions? Electricity Out? Contact Commonwealth Edison!
Having problems or interruptions with your Commonwealth Edison electricity? Here's the proper people to call.
ComEd Billing Problems
First thing to do is contact Commonwealth Edison Customer Service at 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-334-7661) and learn what options you have. If you are having trouble paying your monthly bill then call Commonwealth Edison's Bill Payment Center:1-888-315-1755. Have your account number ready. You can also apply for payment methods online through your Commonwealth Edison account.
Consider Budget Billing: If you are constantly blind-sided by seasonally high bills, check out budget billing. This payment plan averages out your electricity costs over the cost of the year. This ensures that customers aren't presented with unexpectedly high bills at peak times.
ComEd Emergencies and Outages
All power lines are extremely dangerous! Never attempt to move a downed power line by yourself. Call 911 and then notifiy Commonwealth Edison.
- Report downed powerlines and other safety hazards immediately to Commonwealth Edison at 1-800-334-7661.
- You can also report downed lines or outages at Commonwealth Edison's website.
- Check Commonwealth Edison's current electric outages as they are being repaired.
Commonwealth Edison Service Area Providers
|Green Mountain Energy||
|NextEra Energy Services||
|Sunwave Gas & Power||
|Santanna Energy Services||
|National Gas & Electric||