BOMA/Chicago Opposing Exelon Bailout

July 13, 2015

As BOMA/Chicago anticipated, comprehensive energy legislation has been introduced by competing interests in the Illinois General Assembly.

Legislation filed by Exelon Corporation to create the "low carbon portfolio standard" would require electric utilities to purchase a specified percentage of low carbon energy credits from energy sources that emit zero or low amounts of carbon dioxide (e.g., wind, solar, hydro, tidal, wave, clean coal, and nuclear). This is the so-called "Exelon Bailout Legislation," which Exelon claims is necessary to ensure profitability of half of its nuclear power plants that it claims are losing money. 

Under the proposal, utilities would recover the costs through a distribution charge imposed on ratepayers. While the increase would be capped at an annual 2% for residential customers, no cap is proposed for commercial customers.  Estimates of the impact on commercial customers range from 30% to 50% increases.   

BOMA/Chicago and a coalition of other business organizations are opposing this overreaching legislation.  

On Thursday, March 19, ComEd also added to the mix legislation proposing construction of microgrids, which would enlarge the current energy efficiency program and allow additional cost recovery on investments.  While not as onerous as the Exelon legislation, the specific impact on consumers was still being determined.

On the other side, a coalition of business, labor and environmental groups (called Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition) filed bills to enhance existing state energy procurement mandates (e.g., Renewable Portfolio Standard, energy efficiency goals, LIHEAP, caps on carbon emissions). 

While there is no guarantee that any of this legislation will be passed by the General Assembly this session, it is certain that negotiation between the major utilities, energy interests, consumers and business organizations - including BOMA/Chicago - will be taking place over the next month and a half. Stay tuned to the BOMA/Chicago website for updates. 

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