Edison rates drop six percent
By Joe Baker
By Joe Baker
Electric rates for Rockford area customers of Commonwealth Edison dropped six percent Monday, a total of $135 million. It is the second phase of a 20 percent rate cut mandated by deregulation legislation in 1997.
The rate reduction was negotiated by the Citizens Utility Board and others as part of the Electric Service Customer Choice and Rate Relief Law of 1997.
Phase one of the rate cut, 15 percent, was effective August 1, 1998. With the second cut Edison customers will have saved $1.25 billion through the end of the year, according to CUB.
Other states have embarked on deregulation of their electric industries, but nowhere are residential customers saving as much money as they are in Illinois, said Martin Cohen, executive director of CUB. And the lower rates we have today are locked in until 2005.
CUB reports Edisons rates have dropped to about the national average and the Midwest average. Before the reductions Edisons rates were substantially higher than most major metropolitan areas.
Today the highest rates in the nation are in New York City where a kilowatt hour costs nearly 18-1/2 cents. Edisons current rate per kilowatt hour is a little less than 9 cents with the second phase cut.
Given whats happened in California and other states, Illinois deregulation law looks better all the time, Cohen said. But there is still a lot of work to be done before we have a truly competitive electricity market that will benefit all consumers.