The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved the first major step toward expanding energy efficiency (EE) programs in Illinois under the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), setting the stage to save residential customers more than $2.00 per month over the course of 2017.
FEJA, energy legislation that passed the Illinois General Assembly with broad bipartisan support and was signed into law by Governor Rauner last year, helps to pivot Illinois to the new clean economy by growing renewable energy resources and significantly expanding energy efficiency programs that help customers save energy and money.
"The Future Energy Jobs Act strengthens Illinois' economy by significantly expanding clean energy choices for our customers," said ComEd Senior Vice President of Customer Operations Val Jensen. "Today's approval is an exciting first step toward aligning utility and customer interests toward less energy use, changing the utility business model so that ComEd can invest in energy efficiency as a service."
ComEd will now begin transitioning to a new system and way of funding efficiency programs. Here is what's ahead for the energy efficiency charge on customers' bills in 2017, pending ICC approval of additional filings related to the transition:
- From May through September, customers will see the energy efficiency charge on their bills zero out - a change from about $2.00/month for the average residential customer today.
- Around October, customers can expect a one-time refund for the retiring programs.
- In November and December, the EE charge on customer bills will level out to an amount significantly less than the prior $2.00/month average.
FEJA will increase funding for EE from $250 million up to $400 million per year by 2030, creating more than $4 billion in consumer savings and reducing the CO2 by an amount equivalent to removing 18 million cars from the road. New, expanded energy efficiency programs will begin in January 2018. Charges for the new programs will begin to appear on customer bills at that time. While the amount of that charge is not yet known, it is expected to be significantly less than what customers pay today. The reason for the decrease is due to new way of accounting for energy efficiency costs, which allows ComEd to spread the costs over time, rather than charging for them all upfront. This new accounting method will enable ComEd to provide more energy efficiency options to customers, helping them achieve even greater financial and environmental benefits.
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 3.9 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.