Energy Deregulation and ComEd Electricity Choice

Commonwealth Edison or what is more popularly known as ComEd was the original full service electric monopoly company that handled mass electricity services in the city of Chicago and surrounding areas until 1997 when the Illinois electric choice laws were enacted. Before that took place, there was no ComEd electricity choice to speak of. After deregulation took place, the generation part of ComEd’s services were unbundled and transferred to alternative electricity providers while the original company maintained the still regulated transmission and distribution infrastructures.

What Chicago residents should understand in the ComEd electricity choice program is that they have the power to select their electricity suppliers while ComEd continues to handle and maintain the poles, wires that actually deliver your electricity. ComEd also handles the meter reading, maintenance and emergency response tasks as required. But what is also very significant to understand from the ComEd electricity choice program is that ComEd sets the default generation rates or the Price to Compare which consumers can use as reference when choosing their retail electricity provider.

In the deregulated Chicago electricity market, ComEd as the distribution company only earns revenues from the distribution charges which form part of your monthly electric bill. ComEd does not earn from the generation rates as this goes to the companies handling generation. The ComEd electricity choice program encourages consumers to shop for electricity providers that offer less than the Price to Compare, otherwise consumers get the generation default price on their monthly bills. This lack of awareness on the part of consumers will cost them significant dollars in savings.