As the House prepares to vote on SB 1751 on Thursday, the utility reform bill poised to bring the largest rate hike in Illinois history, AARP Illinois made a direct appeal to Governor JB Pritzker to put an end to ComEd’s corrupt rate making practices once and for all.
For years, AARP Illinois has raised concerns about the way the Illinois General Assembly has allowed ComEd to issue massive rate increases that pad the pockets of shareholders while gouging average Illinois consumers.
The proposed bill, which was passed by the Senate last Thursday and heads to the House this week, would guarantee ComEd an additional $11 billion in profits, none of which will go toward clean energy solutions or job training in Illinois.
As the energy bill negotiations continue, AARP Illinois and its 1.7 million members implored the Governor to put an end to formula rates and any similar rate-making schemes, which have only increased ComEd’s profits at the expense of consumers.
“ComEd’s pay-to-play tactics have proven to be illegal and yet, they are asking to do it again, continuing to place an enormous financial burden on customers who are already millions of dollars behind on their energy bills,” says Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director.
AARP Illinois agrees that the Governor’s Consumers and Climate First Act remains the best option for protection of ratepayers across the State. By calling for an immediate end to formula rate hikes, as well as gas utility surcharges, pursuing restitution for ComEd customers and stopping utilities from pushing the cost of charitable donations onto customers, the bill offers true relief to Illinois ratepayers.
AARP Illinois has heard from its members across the state, and especially older adults on fixed incomes, that they cannot afford for their rates to go up. An independent analysis conducted by AARP Illinois – because a cost analysis was never presented to the public – found that the bill being considered by the House this week would build up to a $15 monthly increase for single family customers.
For this reason, AARP Illinois continues to call on legislation that will:
- End formula rates and all similar ratemaking schemes, and give the Illinois Commerce Commission back control over the ratemaking process;
- Put a stop to so-called “charitable contributions” by big utility companies that are actually giving away consumers’ money to make themselves seem benevolent;
- Enact strict ethics reforms and enhance oversight on utilities to ensure greater transparency and accountability and prevent any further illegal actions employed by utility companies that would lead to more ill-gotten rate increases;
- Oppose legislation that raises rates through questionable new spending.
“The ratepayer protections laid out in the Governor’s bill appropriately address these concerns and we urge him to include its provisions in SB 1751 before its approved,” says Gallo. “Illinois residents, whose voices have gone unheard throughout this process, need to be represented now more than ever.”