4/21/15 - Study Finds Exelon Bailout Legislation Will Hike Electric Rates More Than 8% and Sock Illinois Ratepayers with a $1.6 Billion Bill

A bill designed to boost revenues for Exelon’s Illinois nuclear plants would cost ratepayers $1.6 billion dollars and hike rates on users large and small all over the state, according an independent study of the legislation.  The study released today by the BEST Coalition is the first analysis of the potential costs to ratepayers of the Low Carbon Portfolio Standard (HB 3293 / SB 1585).

The Study, titled “A Cost Impact Analysis of Illinois’ Proposed Low Carbon Portfolio Standard,” was performed by Kestler Energy Consulting, LLC and commissioned by the BEST Coalition. 

By applying legislative mandates to historical data on Illinois electric costs and consumption, the study calculates how much hardship Exelon’s legislation would impose on families, businesses and local governments statewide. For example, if the bill were to pass, it would cost the City of Chicago nearly $14 million, Chicago Public Schools $7 million, Cook County Government $3.3 million and a small independent grocery store more than $13,000.  

Using the study findings, BEST Coalition created an online bailout calculator that businesses can use to learn how much the bill would cost them (www.noexelonbailout.com/calculator). 

Key findings of the study:

  • The Low Carbon Portfolio Standard would increase electric costs by $2.38 per MWh ($0.00238/kWh) for ComEd customers and $2.17 per MWh ($0.00217/kWh) for Ameren.
  • In total, the LCPS would cost ComEd and Ameren ratepayers $1.599 billion or $295.2 million per year over the statutory contract period of five years and five months (from January, 2016 through May, 2021).
  • The LCPS would increase average wholesale electricity supply costs approximately 8.45% for ComEd customers and 8.35% for Ameren customers

“This analysis shows why the Exelon bailout is so bad for Illinois,” said BEST Coalition Director Dave Lundy. “If this bill were to pass, the costs to Chicago taxpayers just for the City, CPS and CTA would be in excess of $26 million.  With budgets stretched to the breaking point, it’s hard to imagine a worse demand to make of struggling Illinoisans than to bail out this highly profitable company.”

Lundy added, “Exelon just received $50 million ratepayer dollars from the MISO grid auction and is going to receive hundreds of millions more from the PJM grid auction taking place this summer.  Exelon should not double-dip and ask Illinois legislators to vote for a second nuclear bailout when they know they are already going to receive so much additional ratepayer money.”

“Older adults, working families and small businesses are dedicating increasing amounts of their limited incomes just to pay utility bills,” said AARP Illinois State Director, Bob Gallo. “Consumers cannot afford to keep paying these unwarranted and excessive rate hikes. With Exelon seeking a $1.6 billion bailout, consumers need to speak up, take action, and urge their legislators to vote “NO!” on this bill.”

“This analysis demonstrates how the Exelon bailout costs us not only as ratepayers but also as taxpayers,” said Abe Scarr, Director of Illinois PIRG “Illinois legislators should reject Exelon's attempt to pad their profits at our expense and instead pursue a comprehensive energy strategy that provides energy solutions for all of Illinois, not just for Exelon.”

The complete study findings and methodology are available at the noexelonbailout.com website. 

1. Electricity consumption data primarily from the STOP Coalition (a group organized and funded by ComEd Exelon to stop development of a subsidized IL power plant)