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Market Monitor – Illinois Carbon-Free Resource Adjustment Charge Rising

March 6, 2023 – Starting in March, a credit on your ComEd electric bill will drop sharply and flip to a charge beginning in June 2023.

In late 2021 Illinois adopted the Climate & Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), which included a bailout for three nuclear plants in the state. Under the CEJA, Carbon Mitigation Credits (CMCs) are auctioned off, providing guaranteed revenue to the nuclear plants but requiring the plant owners to refund ratepayers any market revenues above those prices.

In 2022 as power prices across the country rose dramatically, the nuclear plants were called upon to refund excess earnings. In June 2022, a line item on ComEd bills labeled “Carbon-Free Energy Resource Adjustment” (CFRA) began providing a credit of just over 4 cents per kWh to your delivery costs. The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) estimates and determines how much money the nuclear plants would have to refund.

The credit gradually reduced over time, but unfortunately, recent retractions in the market have resulted in the ICC overstating the estimate on the CFRA. Starting June 2023, the credit will flip to a charge of approximately 1 cent per kWh.

The charge represents a ~$0.05/kWh year-on-year increase in invoiced electric delivery costs and may counteract any reductions on the supply side of the bill.



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