Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is joining the chorus of voices opposed to House Bill 14. The bill proposes upgrading state utilities to create a so-called "smart grid."
Power companies claim modernizing will protect against outages and save consumers money down the line. For now it would mean higher ComEd bills. But Madigan argues there's already a fair system in place that ComEd should use to make necessary improvements.
She says ComEd "actually wants a guaranteed profit where they don't have to go through a system to get it. They want to go directly into your wallet. They don't want to have to prove what they did was reasonable or fair. They just want your money."
Madigan says as the bill is written, utility companies could increase rates before getting the state's approval and there's no cap on how high rates could rise.
ComEd spokeswoman Alicia Zatkowski said a revised bill is in the works and should be finalized by the end of this week. She says the new bill would eliminate automatic rate increases and addresses other complaints.
In a statement released by ComEd in the wake of complaints, the company concluded, "The bottom line is this: the grid needs to be modernized now. We cannot afford to wait. Other states are on the move, and we need to get moving."