Situation: ComEd is updating the Carbon-Free Energy Resource Adjustment, which will take effect beginning in March 2023. This Q&A has been prepared to address questions of LCS customers, residential customers and media outlets.
Illinois' Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), a law enacted in 2021, created Carbon Mitigation Credits (CMCs) to support carbon-free energy from nuclear plants. The plants provide payments to ComEd customers when energy prices are high, resulting in credits that averaged about $25 on customer bills during June, July, August, and September of 2022. During periods of low energy prices, however, customers may receive a charge. Credits/charges appear on ComEd customer bills as "Carbon-Free Energy Resource Adjustment" (CFRA). All ComEd retail customers, including those who do not take energy supply from ComEd, will see this line item on their utility bill, reflecting a credit or a charge depending on energy prices. The amount depends on a customer's energy usage -- the higher the usage, the higher the resulting credit or charge. The CFRA is in effect for five years through 2027.
The CFRA is updated regularly to better match energy markets; CFRA updates were also made in advance of ComEd's fall and winter billing periods.
The new credit is 0.033 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), and it will result in a small bill credit for ComEd customers beginning in the March billing period. The new credit reflects a significant 70-percent decline in forward wholesale energy market prices used to determine the June 2022 summer credit and the new March 2023 non-summer credit.
In 2022, a credit of 4.115 cents per kWh was provided to customers for the fall billing period and a credit of 2.384 cents per kWh was provided to customers for the winter billing period.
Beginning in October 2023, the CFRA will be updated monthly to further align the credits or charges with payments to or from nuclear plants. Before then, the rate will be updated in June, but additional adjustments could be made to ensure alignment with energy prices. ComEd will receive updated prices for June 2023 the week of April 17th during the annual Spring Procurement Event conducted by the Illinois Power Agency.
As always, ComEd customers with credits on their account can apply those funds toward future ComEd bills. Customers also have the option of receiving a check for the full amount of the current credit balance on their account.
Net metering allows a ComEd customer to receive credits on their energy bill when they produce more energy than they use. The CFRA credit or charge for net metering customers is the reverse of what it is for other customers. So if other customers receive a credit, net metering customers receive a charge, and vise-versa. For more information, customers can call ComEd Solar and Green Power Connection Team at 1-800-825-5436 Customers served by ComEd's Large Customer Services group can reach out to their account managers with questions.
For any customer experiencing difficulty paying current or past-due bill amounts, ComEd offers a variety of assistance options to fit almost every customer's needs, including federal grants like payment assistance options, energy-efficiency offerings, community solar programs and more. Customers can call ComEd at 800-334-7661 (800-EDISON1), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.