ComEd is seeking $1 a month more from consumers to deliver their power, starting in early 2018.
That translates to an increase of $96 million in overall revenue so ComEd can cover its costs related to the smart grid buildout, according to ComEd's filing with the Illinois Commerce Commission on Thursday. The ICC is expected to decide in December how much consumers may pay.
"The smart grid program is delivering, as promised, for our customers and the Illinois economy," ComEd President and CEO Anne Pramaggiore said in a statement. "From best-on-record reliability to award-winning programs that save energy and money and highest customer satisfaction results in our history -- the investments to modernize our energy delivering system are working and producing tangible benefits and remarkable results."
Chicago-based consumer watchdog Citizens Utility Board said it will review ComEd's filing.
"A rate hike is never good news for consumers. We're going to review ComEd's $96 million request, and we'll challenge every penny the company cannot justify," CUB spokesman Jim Chilsen said via email.
The expected filing is part of the $2.6 billion Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act, also known as the smart grid law, to update the power network throughout the Chicago and suburban region. The program started in 2012. ComEd said the additional $1 per month from consumers would cover the costs it spent in 2016 and its obligations for 2017, ComEd said.
Installation of nearly 4 million smart meters is expected to be completed by late 2018, three years ahead of the original schedule. Additional system improvements will continue into 2021, including substation digital upgrades and investments in cyber security, ComEd said.
This latest hike request is in addition to an increase that went into effect earlier this year and was then lowered in last month. ComEd said in March that consumer would pay $1.66 more per month, instead of $2, through the end of this year, also related to the smart grid program.