Breaking: ‘Slam dunk’ for electric customers at the Supreme Court

demandresponseIt’s never easy taking on big energy companies, but then there are days like this. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling in support of an important efficiency program called Demand Response. Read CUB’s statement.

Demand Response is any program in which power grid operators pay electricity users to shift their usage away from “peak” demand times. What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, programs like this are a key part of reducing stress on the grid and power prices for everyone.

In fact, the former director of the Illinois Power Agency estimated that removing such a program could jack up ComEd power prices by 20 percent!

That’s why consumer advocates sprang into action when in 2014 an Appeals Court in Washington D.C., ruled that federal regulators did not have the authority to promote, regulate and develop Demand Response programs in the energy market.

Big energy companies had no love for Demand Response, because it ate into their profits, so they welcomed the ruling. But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) along with consumer advocates (including CUB) didn’t give up. We took the fight all the way to the Highest Court in the land.

And today, we won.

“Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in support of a money-saving efficiency program called Demand Response is a slam dunk for electricity customers in Illinois and across the country,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said. “Today’s decision—one of the biggest in the history of electricity regulation—opens the door to a cleaner, more reliable and more affordable power grid.”

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About Jim Chilsen

Jim is director of communications for the Citizens Utility Board (CUB)
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