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Proviso Probe

Friday, September 15, 2006

ECON, ComEd rate increases

Proviso Probe covered the issue already, but today's Chicago Tribune (Robert Manor) is the two by four in the face.

While the Tribune makes the rate hike seem reasonable and inevitable, Citizen Utility Board disagrees.
Report: ComEd Customers To Get Slammed With 25% Increase
ComEd electric bills will shoot up 25 percent next year, thanks to Illinois' first-ever power auction, reports the Chicago Tribune, quoting anonymous sources. "This is outrageous," CUB Executive Director David Kolata tells the Tribune, but he warns the actual price could be even higher. When the auction prices are officially released today, CUB will have a full analysis of how those prices will affect ComEd and Ameren customers. Remember, it's not too late to stop the rate hikes! Go to CUB's "Don't Get Shocked" Action Center and find out what you can do. And don't forget to rant and rave on CUB's blog.

Another place to keep an eye on ComEd is ComEdReporter.

[UPDATE: CUB is calling for the Illinois legislature to pass an extension of the rate freeze, HB 5766. The freeze was put in place to protect Illinois consumers until there was adequate competition for deregulation to work. ComEd wants to have deregulation without effective competition. CUB says the existence of competition must proceed deregulation. CUB's five-point case:
1. You can’t choose a different power company.
Illinois legislators last extended the rate freeze in 2002 because competition hadn’t yet developed in the electric industry. There’s still NO competition.

2. The current regulatory system benefits consumers AND utilities.
We are protected from unjust rate hikes while Ameren ($628 million) and Exelon/ComEd ($2.1 billion) make record profits.

3. Look at New Jersey.
The only other state with an “auction” system just saw a 55 percent increase in energy prices.

4. Exelon is cutting rates elsewhere.
ComEd’s parent company says it needs big rate hikes here, but in Pennsylvania and New Jersey it has offered to cut rates by $120 million or more and freeze those rates.

5. No competition + Auction = Deregulated monopolies.
[An auction system that erases state oversight positions ComEd and Ameren to become deregulated monopolies.

HB 5766 has fourteen sponsors in the House. There are 118 members of the Illinois House.

The following House members represent parts of Proviso Township. None are sponsors.
Rep. Karen Yarbrough ($4900)--(708) 615-1747
Rep. Calvin Giles ($8,300)--(773) 287-6700
Rep. Robert Molaro ($700)--(773) 838-1212
Rep. Bob Biggins ($1,500)--(630) 941-1278
Rep. Deborah Graham ($6,300)--(708) 445-9520

[The number in parantheses is the amount the representative has taken from Exelon, ComEd's parent company.]

[UPDATE2: LiberIL View (Kankakee Voice) is asking Rep. Lisa Dugan's position on the bill.]


  • I've called and left messages for all the reps. Spoke briefly with Rep. Biggins said he hadn't heard of the bill and would take a look.

    If you support keeping electrical rates down, please call.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 12:59 PM, September 15, 2006  

  • Does political reform seem more important after seeing how much ComEd contributed to state rep candidates?

    By the way, the biggest contributions were the most recent ones, y'know, during ComEd's campaign to grease the skids for its rate increases.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:29 PM, September 15, 2006  


    Key national leaders of both major parties including:
    John McCain, Republican Senator
    Geraldine Ferraro, Former Democratic Congresswoman
    Michael Dukakis, Former Democratic Governor
    Bill Frenzel, Former Republican Congressman
    Richard Kimball, Project Vote Smart President

    Over 100 news organizations throughout the nation also urged their candidates to supply their issue positions through the National Political Awareness Test.

    Urge Representative Lisa M. Dugan to pass the National Political Awareness Test.

    Capitol Web Address:
    http://www.ilga.gov/house/Rep.asp?Member ...

    My congressional Rep. - Jerry Weller is paid well by exelon, com ed and any corporate enitity connected with them. He never votes for us "little guys" he always votes for those who pay for his campaign, big corporations.

    I can't find the links but I seem to remember the my state rep. Lisa Dugan has also been well paid by Com Ed or some other corporate entity representing them. My State Rep. Debbie Halvorson is no better. She is also well paid by the electric utility lobby, she voted against the CUB candidate - I forget his name. She said it was Blagojevich's fault for not coming to Emil Jones first with this guy and just "doing things on his own." So Blago doesn't play politics with the State Senators and Reps. so they punish him - and all Illinois electricity consumers - by vetoing his choice of Marty Cohen as the chairman of the ICC.

    "Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced several unprecedented steps his administration is taking to protect consumers from what is expected to be one of the most difficult winters in memory due to record energy costs. Blagojevich is naming a Special Director of Emergency Energy Assistance to marshal resources from the public and private sectors and to coordinate assistance to vulnerable populations impacted by record-high heating costs. The Governor tapped Ed Hurley, outgoing chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), to serve as the new Special Director this winter. The Governor appointed Marty Cohen, Executive Director of the Citizens Utility Board to replace Hurley as chair of the ICC. Cohen will be the first consumer advocate ever to lead the ICC, which is responsible for regulating utilities and ensuring the citizens of Illinois safe, efficient, reliable, and uninterrupted utility service at reasonable prices."

    So I strike out three times asking my reps, state and federal to help out with lowering eletric rates.

    By Blogger Kankakee Voice, at 7:19 PM, September 15, 2006  

  • Shame on you Karen, Calvin and Deborah. Exelon is causing the very people you represent to live without electricity during the summer and winter, cause people to choose between them and food, and this is what you do. I think they should all pay the money back and sponsor a bill to extend the rate freeze. By the way, has Karen given back the donations she took from disbarred attorney Anthony Bruno?

    By Anonymous C.U.B. Fan, at 8:08 PM, September 15, 2006  

  • KV, political candidates are coached by their handlers not to answer questionnaires from citizen groups except under narrow circumstances. If the endorsement is important or essential then answer the questionnaire, otherwise don't answer it, but keep telling the group that the questionnaire is being considered.

    This is done to keep the candidate on message and to avoid providing material for political attacks. Consider what Archpundit said about Judy Baar Topinka on the Capitol Fax Blog.

    The most effective candidates are disciplined candidates and disciplined candidates stay on message.

    I would like to see bloggers shift the balance toward getting the issues out. We should cooperate across political lines to get candidates to answer questionnaires so we can have a meaningful debate about issues.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 8:20 PM, September 15, 2006  

  • Why has Yarbrough and Graham refusing to stop ComEd from raping the citizenary? Is it because they don't represent there communities , but instead think that they are above reproach and can't lose an election?/???
    I can tell you that Yarbrough is being watched closely now that she has full control of Maywood and she better start earning her pay,or else she'll end up like Welch and Moore, a bitter disgusting EX-elected official!

    By Anonymous Yarbrough is just like Welch and Moore, at 5:17 PM, September 16, 2006  

  • Let's not forget that Kimberly Lightford, another Proviso state rep., accepted $2500 from the Exelon PAC on March 8, 2006.

    By Anonymous Tired of business as usual, at 8:25 PM, September 17, 2006  

  • Ken of Rep. Molaro's office called and left a message. He said Molaro would support the legislation if it came up for a vote.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 2:06 PM, September 18, 2006  

  • As much as many do not want to see the rates go up, I wish you all would take the time to consider all of the people who work for the company that are not being payed billions of dollars. Before you start complaining about not having power in a storm, please stop to think about the danger the linemen are subjecting themselves to just so you can have the comforts electricity supplies. I have grown up with the company, as my father has been employed by them my whole life and now my fiance is also in training to become a lineman. I, along with my mother, have spent many sleepless nights wondering and hoping weither or not my father was going to make it home. They lose six people (there are about 600 linemen this year) a year and I personally have been to many funerals. Im not asking for you not to be upset about paying more money, just please remember the people that help you when your in need, before you belittle the whole company.

    By Anonymous Daughter of the accused, at 10:39 AM, October 19, 2006  


    In order to insure energy and economic independence as well as better economic growth without being blackmailed by foreign countries, our country, the United States of America’s Utilization of Energy sources must change.
    "Energy drives our entire economy." We must protect it. "Let's face it, without energy the whole economy and economic society we have set up would come to a halt. So you want to have control over such an important resource that you need for your society and your economy." The American way of life is not negotiable.
    Our continued dependence on fossil fuels could and will lead to catastrophic consequences.

    The federal, state and local government should implement a mandatory renewable energy installation program for residential and commercial property on new construction and remodeling projects with the use of energy efficient material, mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, etc. The source of energy must by renewable energy such as Solar-Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wind, Biofuels, etc. including utilizing water from lakes, rivers and oceans to circulate in cooling towers to produce air conditioning and the utilization of proper landscaping to reduce energy consumption.

    The implementation of mandatory renewable energy could be done on a gradual scale over the next 10 years. At the end of the 10 year period all construction and energy use in the structures throughout the United States must be 100% powered by renewable energy.

    In addition, the governments must impose laws, rules and regulations whereby the utility companies must comply with a fair “NET METERING” (the buying of excess generation from the consumer), including the promotion of research and production of “renewable energy technology” with various long term incentives and grants. The various foundations in existence should be used to contribute to this cause.

    A mandatory time table should also be established for the automobile industry to gradually produce an automobile powered by renewable energy. The American automobile industry is surely capable of accomplishing this task.

    This is a way to expedite our energy independence and economic growth. (this will also creat a substantial amount of new jobs) It will take maximum effort and a relentless pursuit of the private, commercial and industrial government sectors commitment to renewable energy – energy generation (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage (fuel cells, advance batteries), energy infrastructure (management, transmission) and energy efficiency (lighting, sensors, automation, conservation) in order to achieve our energy independence.

    Jay Draiman
    Northridge, CA. 91325

    P.S. I have a very deep belief in America's capabilities. Within the next 10 years we can accomplish our energy independence, if we as a nation truly set our goals to accomplish this.
    I happen to believe that we can do it. In another crisis--the one in 1942--President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this country would build 60,000 [50,000] military aircraft. By 1943, production in that program had reached 125,000 aircraft annually. They did it then. We can do it now.
    The American people resilience and determination to retain the way of life is unconquerable and we as a nation will succeed in this endeavor of Energy Independence.

    Solar energy is the source of all energy on the earth (excepting volcanic geothermal). Wind, wave and fossil fuels all get their energy from the sun. Fossil fuels are only a battery which will eventually run out. The sooner we can exploit all forms of Solar energy (cost effectively or not against dubiously cheap FFs)the better off we will all be. If the battery runs out first, the survivors will all be living like in the 18th century again.

    Every new home built should come with a solar package. A 1.5 kW per bedroom is a good rule of thumb. The formula 1.5 X's 5 hrs per day X's 30 days will produce about 225 kWh per bedroom monthly. This peak production period will offset 17 to 24 cents per kWh with a potential of $160 per month or about $60,000 over the 30-year mortgage period for a three-bedroom home. It is economically feasible at the current energy price and the interest portion of the loan is deductible. Why not?

    Title 24 has been mandated forcing developers to build energy efficient homes. Their bull-headedness put them in that position and now they see that Title 24 works with little added cost. Solar should also be mandated and if the developer designs a home that solar is impossible to do then they should pay an equivalent mitigation fee allowing others to put solar on in place of their negligence.

    By Anonymous Jay Draiman, at 3:05 PM, January 09, 2007  

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