Commonwealth Edison wants to make it illegal in Illinois to count the benefits of lowering energy prices when deciding which energy efficiency projects should qualify for ratepayer-funded financial assistance.
State legislation introduced on ComEd’s behalf last month, which the utility says will move Illinois toward a “greener, cleaner future,” has environmentalists accusing ComEd of trying to hold back gains in energy efficiency to help the six Illinois nuclear power plants owned by its Chicago-based parent, Exelon. Lower power prices crimp profits at the plants, three of which Exelon says are losing money.
A competing enviro-backed bill sponsored by Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, would explicitly require utilities like ComEd to take into account how an efficiency project would lower the power prices paid by consumers. (Both the ComEd bill and Harmon’s have been approved by different Senate committees.)