ComEd Changes Policy to Help Fuel Economic Growth in Region
From ComEd press statements:
In a move that is intended to make northern Illinois more attractive to expanding and prospective businesses, ComEd has modified a policy that requires some business customers seeking new or expanded electric service to provide an upfront deposit.
Prior to the policy change, under certain circumstances, businesses needing to increase their electric capacity had to pay an upfront deposit to cover costs to install or extend power lines. The revised policy reduces the amount of that deposit and in some cases, eliminates it altogether. In addition, the change allows for a faster refund of deposited funds when the business achieves its anticipated energy usage. Now instead of waiting up to 10 years for a deposit refund, business customers can be refunded in half that time as long as certain requirements are met. While this change provides benefits to business customers, continuing to collect these deposits from them maintains protections for the rest of ComEd’s customers.
Changes to ComEd’s line extension tariff, Rider DE, which is used to pay for standard off-property work ComEd must do to provide electrical capacity to new or expanding customers, include the following innovative components intended to stimulate economic growth and development in northern Illinois and create a new soft incentive by lowering upfront costs:
- Increasing the standard line extension credit threshold to $250,000 which results in no deposit requirement for projects costing less than this amount.
- Moving to a 5 year revenue test in determining the amount of a line extension deposit; the 5 year revenue is then applied as a credit towards the line extension cost.
- Shortening the refund timeline to 5 years if certain electrical usage criteria have been met (i.e., if after Years 5-10 the customer’s average demand load has reached at least 75% of the original request a full refund of the remaining deposit will be provided).
- Changing the cost allocation for customer projects that involve an upgrade or expansion of a ComEd substation – deposit costs will now be determined by the percentage load-ratio share of the new capacity being installed (i.e., if the customer’s project requires 22% of the new capacity of the substation transformer, then they would pay a deposit of that percentage).
“ComEd is helping to drive greater economic development in Illinois through our smart grid program, and we believe this change also will help to further the state’s competitive edge and bring more business to our region,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO, ComEd. “The ability to attract major companies, including manufacturers and data centers, will result in the addition of high-paying jobs, a talented labor force and increased tax revenue generation for Illinois and our municipalities.”
“This is a great day for business in Illinois,” said Mike Lane, executive director of the Illinois Economic Development Association. “By taking this step, ComEd is demonstrating its full commitment to economic expansion in the region by reducing a potential barrier to new investment and new jobs and making economic development more affordable for all small and large businesses.”
These policy changes will help to stimulate economic growth and development in northern Illinois and put it on equal footing with surrounding states that have similar policies.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 7.8 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population.
Read ComEd press release at BusinessWire.