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AARP Continues Fight Against Unfair Utility Rate Hikes

On May 31, the last day of the legislative session, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1652 – a bill that means bad news for Illinois consumers. Senate Bill 1652, backed by ComEd and Ameren, will result in annual electric rate increases for consumers. The bill ensures higher corporate profits for ComEd and Ameren while also limiting regulatory oversight.

See Also: Fighting to Save You Money on Utilities

The bill writes utility company profits into state law by guaranteeing the companies a return on equity of over 10%. The legislation also results in nearly automatic rate increases by allowing utility companies to file rate cases each year for promised extra investments.

SB1652 also shortens the rate review process. Through this bill, ComEd and Ameren are taking the voice of the consumer out of the ratemaking process and paving the way for even higher profit margins.

If Senate Bill 1652 becomes law, consumers will see their monthly electric bills increase by an average of $3 per month. This is according to the utility companies; however, AARP anticipates that the true impact of the legislation will be much higher. For ComEd customers, this increase is in addition to the average $3 per month increase that will occur as a result of ComEd’s recent $156 million rate increase that was approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). Ameren customers may also get a “double whammy” as Ameren has recently filed a $111 million rate increase request with the ICC.

So, what’s the good news? Governor Quinn has promised to veto Senate Bill 1652 and the bill passed without a veto-proof majority. Find more information on this bill and any others in Illinois online.

AARP will continue to fight the legislation – but your legislators need to hear from you. Find out how your Senator voted on Senate Bill 1652. You can also call 1-800-719-3020 to connect directly to your Senator. We need your Senator to support Governor Quinn’s veto of Senate Bill 1652!

For up-to-the minute information on this bill follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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