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Energy supply costs to affect all electric customers

Published: Friday, May 9, 2014 11:41 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, May 10, 2014 7:26 a.m. CDT

ComEd’s announcement this week that higher electric supply rates would result in rate increases for its customers also will affect rates for municipal electric utilities, a spokesman said.

“It’s not ‘the ComEd rate increase.’ These charges result from the PJM auction,” said ComEd spokesman David O’Dowd. “So that is what is driving this is a new electric supply rate. It results in an increase in energy supply costs regardless of who a customer chooses for their electricity. This impacts rates regardless of who you receive your energy supply from. It will affect all utility customers regardless of who their utility provider is.”

The increase will cover payments PJM makes to power generators to ensure there is enough power to meet peak demand on high-power usage days, O’Dowd said. 

PJM is a regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia, according to its website.

The increase is capacity charges paid by all utility customers, O’Dowd said, regardless of whether they are ComEd customers, have municipal utilities like Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles, or if they are part of an aggregate package for lower costs.

The increases will begin June 1, he said.

Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns said ComEd’s price increase and the increase to be seen by all aggregate packages “and all of the cheaper electricity are rapidly coming to an end.”

Geneva has its own gas-powered generators for peak periods and is a member of and has a contract with Northern Illinois Municipal Power Agency for an entitlement share of 35 megawatts in Prairie State Generating Company.

“The analysis we have conducted shows that Geneva’s prices will be between 7 percent and 18 percent lower than rates being provided between the aggregates and ComEd,” Burns said.

“Our investment in Prairie State is long term, 30 years, not just for tomorrow and today, but we are focused on 11,000 tomorrows to come,” Burns said. “Our power portfolio proves that our investment is a wise one and is in the best long-term interest of our citizens and businesses.”

Officials from Batavia and St. Charles did not return messages seeking comment.

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