Letter: Higher electric rates create challenges for all consumers



Apr 6, 2019 at 5:00 PM

The future of energy policy in Illinois could soon be here. The major utilities, clean energy proponents and others are all pushing legislation at the state Capitol that could greatly impact how we receive energy in our homes and businesses.

As the debate continues this spring, we have one word of caution: carefully consider the costs for consumers.

AARP Illinois, BOMA/Chicago and the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois recently worked with former Illinois Power Agency Director Mark Pruitt to look at the cost impacts of the last two major pieces of energy legislation in Illinois — the 2011 Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act that created the SmartGrid program, and the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act that promoted clean energy investment and provided state subsidies for two Exelon Generation nuclear plants.

Our study found significant consumer costs: Nearly $20 billion in higher electric rates over a period of 14 years.

Between 2013 and 2027, residential, commercial and industrial customers will have paid $14.8 billion more in the costs for Ameren Illinois and ComEd to distribute power to homes and businesses over what we paid in 2013, from the EIMA SmartGrid law. And FEJA will have added an extra $4.6 billion in higher rates during the same period.

We are not criticizing past legislative efforts or the current process, but we must stress that higher electric rates create challenges for all consumers. We urge policymakers to carefully balance the need to invest in our energy future with the ability of consumers to afford the investment.

Julie Vahling

Associate state director of AARP Illinois

01-All No Sub,17-Energy,02-Pol,19-Legal,16-Econ,22-Talk,24-ILGA,26-Delivered,06-RK Email 11,RK Client

Region: Springfield,Feeds,Opinion,Region: Central,City: Springfield

via Opinion – The State Journal-Register http://bit.ly/2EMjS6J

April 6, 2019 at 05:13PM

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