Gov. Quinn Vetoes Electric Rate Hike Measure

May 05, 2013

Gov. Pat Quinn has rejected a plan to increase ComEd's and Ameren's electric rates by up to $70 million, a move backers say would help get so-called Smart Grid technology back on track.

The Chicago Democrat vetoed the plan Sunday saying the bill would have undermined electric utility oversight and force automatic rate increases on the public.

“I cannot support legislation that puts the profits of big electric utilities ahead of the families and businesses of Illinois,” Governor Quinn said, in a press release. “A strong economy that creates jobs requires stable energy costs, but this bill sends Illinois in the wrong direction. We cannot allow big utilities to force automatic rate hikes on the people of Illinois by going around oversight authorities each and every time they do not get the decision they want."

Quinn said with the $70 million, along with other rate increases the utilities are seeking, the average consumer would see an increase of $5-$6 a month.

ComEd touted the bill as a way to clarify language on 2011 legislation that let power companies raise rates to fund a high-tech system meant to help people conserve energy.

The Illinois Commerce Commission filed a lawsuit against ComEd over the plan's implementation.

The bill was meant to clarify issues in the suit, and required ComEd speed up its installation of smart meters.

Lawmakers could override Quinn's veto.

Story source: AP