Wow, just when you thought you were doing the right thing in trying to conserve energy, your electric bill may in for a shocker, whether you conserve or not.

ComEd has bypassed Illinois Commerce Commission ICC) and taken it's proposal to add a new "demand charge" to your electricity bill directly to Illinois lawmakers.

A bill that is originated in the Illinois Senate (SB 1585) would contain new "demand charges" inserted by Exelon and ComEd on all residential and small business customers in Illinois. The charge is is considered to be very complicated to understand. To make things more scary, for electric customers, it is nearly impossible to control, let alone understand.

According to the Energy Freedom Coalition, the new add-on charge will

Instead of just being billed for the total amount of energy consumed, customers are also billed a fee based on a customer’s maximum electricity usage during each month, averaged over a short period of time (typically 1-hour, 30-minute, or 15-minute intervals).

The Energy Freedom Coalition says here's what can be expected if this "On Demand" charge becomes law.

  • Increase bills for customers
  • Eliminate homeowner ability to control and manage energy bills
  • Create new barriers to growth of solar in Illinois
  • Jeopardize jobs and private investment

Presently, no other state has approved mandatory demand charge rates on all residential customers. Illinois would be the first to do so.

Illinois Senator Dave Syverson is a co-sponsor of this legislation (SB 1585). I have reached out to both Rockford Area Senators (Steve Stadelman-D, Dave Syverson-R) for a reaction to this proposal which they will vote on this week and have not heard back.

UPDATE: 11.15.16: Sen Dave Syverson said: Wait until you see the latest Amendment and version of the bill. I have not see the final yet. I know we have to provide some stubility to the system and rebuild it to modernize. I am concerned as i have been with the impact that wind and solar is having on driving energy costs higher.


Sen Stadelmen or his staff have not responded to two requests for a comment.

This measure would be tough on all residents of Illinois, especially seniors which is why the measure is opposed by the AARP. Analists say that on demand charges tend to overcharge the smallest utility customers for electricity service. this means if you luive in an apartment, you will get hit "particularly hard".

The AARP, in a signed a letter to lawmakers, said

ComEd’s untested proposal would take away control and predictability in consumers’ bills and should be rejected.

The Illinois senate is expected to vote on the measure this week.