This morning the Chicago Tribune ran an OpEd I coauthored with Dan Schneider from Legal Action Chicago. In it, we argue that regulators at the Illinois Commerce Commission should not approve a huge increase in guaranteed profits for ComEd
The Commission will make a final decision on ComEd’s proposed multi-year rate hike one week from today. ComEd’s profit level is one among many important decisions the Commission will make. Increases in profits alone are one of the major drivers of the utility’s massive proposed rate increase.
One of the key policies ComEd won through its bribery scheme was a guarantee it would always earn its authorized annual profits. Traditionally, regulators authorize a utility’s annual profit level, but actually earning that level in any given year is highly uncertain – based on fluctuations in revenues and costs.
Despite the scandal, the profit guarantee policy was continued through 2021 energy legislation over our loud objections.
Profit rates should reflect risk – and Illinois public policy has made ComEd’s risk profile more like a government bond than a utility under traditional regulation, much less a company operating in a competitive market. That’s why we hired an expert witness in the rate case and argued for a profit level that could save ComEd customers almost one billion dollars over the next four years.
I encourage you to read the piece to learn more.