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ICC approves expansion of ComEd energy efficiency programs

The Illinois Commerce Commission on April 7 approved "the first major step" of Commonwealth Edison Co.'s plan for expanding energy efficiency under the Future Energy Jobs Act, or FEJA.

The company said the move will save its residential customers more than $2.00/month on average during 2017. From May through September, customers will see no energy efficiency charges on their bills. Additionally, all customers will receive a refund for the retiring programs in October, and in November and December the energy efficiency charges for each customer "will level out to an amount significantly less than the prior $2.00/month average," according to a ComEd news release. The company said, though, that it still must secure additional approvals from the ICC related to its transition plan.

ComEd said when new expanded energy efficiency programs begin in January 2018, customers will see charges that are expected to be much lower than those they pay today. The reduction in charges will be thanks to the new way of accounting for energy efficiency that allows ComEd to spread the cost over time instead of charging upfront, the company averred.

Under FEJA, which was passed in 2016 with bipartisan support, energy efficiency funding will increase from $250 million up to $400 million per year by 2030, saving customers more than $4 billion and reducing carbon dioxide "by an amount equivalent to removing 18 million cars from the road," ComEd said.

ComEd is a Exelon Corp. utility.