$182 Million Class Action Lawsuit Filed against ComEd for Violation of ICC
Order by the Law Offices of Paul G. Neilan, P.C.
Commonwealth Edison Refuses Ordered Deployment of Smart Meters
CHICAGO -- April 05, 2013
In a class action lawsuit filed Thursday, April 4, 2013 in Cook County, the
Law Offices of Paul G. Neilan, P.C., on behalf of the plaintiffs, say
Commonwealth Edison, an Exelon Company (ComEd NYSE: EXC), violated an Illinois
Commerce Commission (ICC) order issued under Illinois’ Smart Grid Act. In
exchange for annual formula rate increases, ComEd agreed to upgrade its grid,
improve system reliability and install smart meters at all consumers’ homes
and businesses. Though the ICC ordered ComEd to begin smart meter installation
by fall 2012, the company unilaterally pushed back deployment until 2015.
To cover the Smart Grid upgrades, in 2011 ComEd filed for a formula rate
increase of $1.915 billion with the ICC. When the ICC reduced that amount by
$168 million, ComEd allegedly ignored the ICC smart meter order and said it
would delay installation of smart meters by about two and a half years.
Customers are currently paying for the smart meters, even though none have
ComEd's original smart meter plan included the installation of 500,000 new
smart meters on Chicago's South and West sides by 2013. The smart meters would
have provided ComEd customers with $182 million in savings and other benefits
if implemented on the ICC order’s original schedule. Customer benefits include
quicker response times to outages and the ability to participate in energy
“ComEd has pulled off the biggest bait-and-switch in Illinois history," said
Chicago energy attorney Paul G. Neilan, who brought the suit. "ComEd sold this
legislation on the benefits of smart meters, and customers have already
started paying for them. But then ComEd took the law into its own hands and
willfully defied an order of the Illinois Commerce Commission. No one will so
much as see a smart meter until 2015.”
In addition, ComEd has been pushing Senate Bill 9 through the General
Assembly. The legislation contains provisions purporting to release ComEd from
its violation of the ICC's original order.
“Senate Bill 9 is a stealth statute because buried deep in the bill is
language that attempts to re-write history and erase ComEd’s violation of the
ICC’s order," says Neilan. "That provision is invalid on its face. It’s also
equivalent to a signed confession. Customers also need to know that
ComEd/Exelon gave more than $192,000 in campaign contributions to the
legislative sponsors of Senate Bill 9. That’s about one tenth of one percent
of the $182 million in damages ComEd inflicted on ratepayers.”
Championed by former Mayor Daley, Chicago has worked hard to be known as one
of the most environmentally friendly and largest users of green energy in the
U.S. with its roof top gardens, recycling programs, LEED certified buildings,
and green construction and development. It has won numerous international
awards for its green agenda and even offers a city-sponsored "Green Office
Challenge." "Smart meters are a crucial part of that mission,” Neilan said.
“ComEd's move will slow Chicago’s progress in energy efficiency and reduced
emissions, and more importantly in benefits to customers.”
For the Law Offices of Paul G. Neilan, P.C.
Print and online media contact: Spencer Maus
Broadcast media contact: Jennifer Fortney
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