The Illinois Senate is quickly advancing legislation that will allow Illinois' main utilities to charge customers more for electricity. Illinois legislators already gave ComEd and Ameren the go ahead to raise rates, in 2011. They passed a law changing the formula used to determine what the companies can charge. The new formula was supposed to get ComEd and Ameren more money they could use to pay for improvements to the electric grid. But the utilities say it didn't work as intended. They say regulators aren't letting them charge what they need. Now the companies are back asking the legislature to pass another law, clarifying the old one.
ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore:
"Without it we are stalled in these programs. We can't proceed forward and ramp them up as we intended."
Lawmakers are complying. Every member of a Senate committee voted for a measure that will allow ComEd and Ameren to raise rates, including retroactively, with interest. Consumer advocates say it's a way to fatten the companies bottom lines, and point out the hefty campaign donations lawmakers have received from the utilities.
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