Understanding the 3 Types of Charges on Your ComEd Residential Electricity Bill

Thursday February 16, 2012
Posted at 11:02

If you live in an area of Illinois that has electricity service provided by Commonwealth Edison Co. (ComEd), you have a choice when it comes to who you buy your power from. Thanks to electricity deregulation, you can choose to buy your power from ComEd or a retail electricity supplier. However, the choice of where you buy electricity (called “supply”) doesn’t affect how it gets to your home (called “delivery”). In other words, ComEd delivers electricity to your home whether you buy it from the utility or a retail electricity supplier.

Regardless of who supplies your power, you probably get your electricity bill from ComEd. Some retail electricity suppliers will send you a bill in place of ComEd, but most retail electricity suppliers “piggyback” on ComEd’s bill and simply list their supply charges instead.

ComEd’s electricity bill contains three main sections of charges: Electricity Supply Services, Delivery Services, and Taxes and Other. Here is some useful information to help you understand the different sections and the various charges that show up on your ComEd residential electricity bill.

1. Electricity Supply Services

The first section of your ComEd residential electricity bill is called Electricity Supply Services. Charges listed in this section have to do with the amount of electricity you use and the cost of transmitting it from the power generators to ComEd for eventual delivery to your home (Charges related to the delivery of electricity from ComEd to individual homes are covered under the Delivery Services section of your bill.)

Electricity Supply Charge — The electricity supply charge is based on the amount of electricity you used during the billing cycle. The electricity supply charge lists the number of kilowatt-hours you used as well as the price you paid for each kilowatt-hour, based either on the electricity price plan you have with your retail electricity supplier or the regulated supply price charged by ComEd.

Transmission Services Charge — All electricity customers pay transmission services charges, regardless of whether electricity is purchased from a retail electricity supplier or ComEd. The transmission services charge, which is based on the amount of electricity you used during the billing cycle, lists the number of kilowatt-hours that were transmitted from power generators to ComEd for delivery to your home.

If you buy your electricity from ComEd, the electricity supply charge and transmission services charge are added together and referred to as the Price to Compare, which is used to help you compare the utility’s prices with those of retail electricity suppliers.

A note on supply: ComEd purchases electricity once a year at auction on behalf of electricity customers that buy their power from the utility. The Price to Compare is set once a year and runs from June to May, with higher summer (June–September) prices and lower non-summer (October–May) prices. Retail electricity suppliers have more flexibility. They can purchase electricity throughout the year and can offer both fixed-price and variable-price plans to accommodate the preferences of individual customers.

Purchased Electricity Adjustment — Only electricity customers who buy their power from ComEd are charged a purchased electricity adjustment. Customers who buy their electricity from a retail electricity supplier will not be charged a purchased electricity adjustment and will not see this adjustment on their bill. The purpose of the adjustment is to allow ComEd to “true-up” any difference between what the utility paid for electricity and what the utility charged those customers it supplies. The adjustment can be positive (a charge) or negative (a credit).

2. Delivery Services

The second section of your ComEd residential electricity bill is called Delivery Services. Delivery Services, also known as distribution services, are charges that all electricity customers in ComEd’s service territory pay the utility to deliver power to their homes, regardless of whether they buy their electricity from the utility or a retail electricity supplier.

Delivery services include a customer charge, a standard metering charge and a distribution facilities charge. The distribution facilities charge is based on how much electricity you used during the billing cycle.

3. Taxes and Other

The third section of your ComEd residential electricity bill is called Taxes and Other. The charges in this section represent state-regulated taxes and fees that ComEd collects from all electricity customers, even those that buy their power from a retail electricity supplier, to help recover expenses and to help fund various programs managed by the state or the utility.

Certain taxes and fees that you may see on your ComEd bill include a smart meter program fee, an environmental cost recovery adjustment, an energy efficiency program fee, a franchise fee and a state-mandated sales tax.

Sources

Commonwealth Edison Co., “Review a Residential Bill Breakdown.”

Plug In Illinois, “Breaking Down the Utility Charges on Your Residential Bill.”

Plug In Illinois, “Understanding the Utility's Electric Supply Price.”

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