CHICAGO (WLS) -- ComEd's potential rate hike, which could take effect in 2024 and continue for four years, have people around the Chicago area worried.
If you're a ComEd customer, your bill could increase as much as $17 by 2027. Customers are frustrated as the cost of basic needs continues to go up.
Camile Boyce said inflation costs have caused her to get behind on her electric bill. She's also been using space heaters to stay warm this winter, which use more electricity. And on top of all that, ComEd recently asked the state to grant a rate hike.
"It's very hard right now," Boyce said. "I just paid $150 yesterday, that's all I could afford."
"ComEd is seeking a record a rate hike," said David Kolata, the executive director of the Citizens Utility Board.
CUB, along with consumer advocacy groups Illinois PIRG, plan to challenge the rate increase request from ComEd to the state.
"So this would be a pretty significant rate increase if they get everything that they're asking for," Kolata said.
ComEd proposed a plan to raise rates over four years. In the first year, 2024, customers would pay roughly $6 more a month on their bills. By 2027 they would pay $17 dollars more a month.
"That's a lot of money. And I do think that it this couldn't come really at a worse time," he said.
"I go back to our commitment to monitoring this ongoing economic condition, you know, because we know that for some of our customers there is a challenge of the ability to pay some of their bills, and that's why we want them to reach out to us," said Lewis Binswanger, ComEd senior vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs.
ComEd said there are programs to help those who qualify for financial assistance, and said the rate increase is needed to invest in infrastructure and a grid that is expected to have increased demand in years to come.
"Our customers expect that when they turn on the light switch we are going to be there. We also have, you know, grid enhancements that enable customers to connect their different appliances to our grid, including, like rooftop solar," Binswanger added. "It requires grid enhancements on our part."
Citizens Utility Board says said it agrees that investments need to be in the grid, but said before approving any rate increase, the state should make sure Com Ed's profit margin is not "excessive."