With electricity costs making up the first or second largest expense for BOMA/Chicago buildings, it’s crucial that we continue shedding light on Exelon and ComEd’s proposed legislation which, with its latest proposal introduced on November 15, would raise electricity rates $24 billion statewide over the next 23 years. BOMA/Chicago buildings alone – making up 5% of ComEd’s energy load – can expect to pay an increase of an estimated $417 million during that time.
More than likely you don’t have time to pour through the tedious and complex legislation (the most recent amendment was 446 pages in fact) so here are some basic facts that we suspect Exelon and ComEd don’t want you to know:
- Exelon is a publicly-traded, profitable company demanding a bailout. Buildings certainly don’t get a bailout, so why should a massive corporation that profited $2 billion last year and increased shareholder profits get one?
- Exelon’s plants have secured billions of dollars in contracts and subsidies. Despite claiming poor-performing nuclear plants, Exelon has secured over $4 billion in long-term contracts and subsidies for its nuclear plants.
- The numbers aren’t there now and won’t ever be if the rate increases are passed. Not only has Exelon failed to be forthcoming with all revenues at its nuclear plants, the rate increase proposal erodes public disclosure mandates and allows Exelon to keep ratepayer bailout money even if their nuclear plants are profitable. No true-up based on actual profitability would be required.
- ComEd will now profit from customer-funded sustainability incentives. Today ratepayers pay a 2% assessment on all electricity bills which is set aside in its entirety to fund or rebate various customer energy efficiency initiatives. This legislation would allow ComEd to profit through a “rate of return” when using dollars designated for energy efficiency – ultimately increasing costs to all customers.
- ComEd only makes money when electricity meters are spinning. Current law mandates that ComEd meet statutory goals for energy efficiency reductions – goals that ComEd has yet to actually achieve. The current statutory goal would be decimated, as this new legislation provides the utility with waivers to avoid meeting those requirements.
- Bottom Line: Chicago’s businesses will have to foot the bill. BOMA/Chicago buildings house more than 10,000 tenants who will ultimately pay the bill on top of a series of hefty property tax increase and fee increases the city has recently implemented . We have to wonder – how much more piling on will they tolerate?
BOMA/Chicago was just in Springfield to testify against the legislation and continues to work closely with a coalition of opposing organizations to educate legislative leaders and the Governor’s Office about the negative impact this legislation will have on our buildings and tenants. As always, it is the goal of BOMA/Chicago to mitigate any potential threat to our members and ensure that any impacts are as minimal as possible.
>>TAKE ACTION: Click here to contact your legislators today to ask them to oppose this legislation.