Serious allegations that ComEd may have improperly used ratepayer funds prompted State Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) to call on Attorney General Lisa Madigan and ICC Chairman Brien Sheahan to take immediate action to protect ComEd ratepayers.
A Feb. 21st Chicago Tribune article reported ComEd, which delivers power to 70 percent of the state’s population, allegedly used ratepayer funds to make charitable contributions that some say appear to also further the utility’s political agenda. While ComEd admits that it has made charitable contributions to about 600 community organizations ranging from the Chicago Urban League to the United Way, it does not disclose this information in their customers’ monthly bills.
Though the law specifically prevents utilities from charging ratepayers for “promotional, political, institutional or goodwill advertising,” some say ComEd’s failure to disclose these donations gives the appearance the company may be purposely hiding them from their customers. The report noted that the charitable funding dollars have been indirectly funneled to powerful political organizations and lawmakers voting on policies that impact ComEd’s bottom line.
In his requests to the Attorney General and ICC, Sen. Duffy asked that “at a minimum, ComEd should be required to disclose these contributions to ratepayers.…At best, ComEd shareholders, not ratepayers, should bear the burden of funding these contributions.”