New power prices in Illinois

20150501_newrates_blogSummer is around the corner, bringing with it warm days, sunshine, flowers, and…new electric rates.

ComEd customers can breathe a little easier starting June 1, as the utility’s price to compare will drop to 7.04¢/kWh through Sept. 30. That’s a decrease of about 7 percent from the current rate (7.572¢/kWh). 

Ameren customers aren’t so lucky.  Customers in all zones are set to see about a 30 percent increase on electric bills—from current levels of about 4.5-4.6¢ per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to about 5.7-5.9¢/kWh (through Sept. 30).

Both Ameren and ComEd’s rates reflect supply prices—or what the utility charges you for the electricity, itself (not including charges to deliver the electricity to your home).  These charges take up about one-half to two-thirds of your overall bill. If you are with an alternative supplier you do not pay this rate with the utility.

The jump in Ameren’s price is due to an increase in so-called “capacity costs,” which are what utilities pay generators to ensure there is enough power on high-demand days.  These costs are determined by a yearly auction run by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), the power grid operator for Central and Southern Illinois and all or parts of 14 other states.  This year, the capacity cost for Illinois was roughly 50 times higher than the auction results for the other 14 MISO states. (Read CUB’s Q&A here.)

Please consider sending a message to federal regulators asking them to investigate Illinois’ power market.

And take our quick one question survey for a chance to win some great prizes.  Ameren customers can click here.  ComEd customers can click here.

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