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Com-Ed Against the Conservation that Saved It!


Conservation and energy efficiency DO work; our leaders, rulers and corporations DO NOT!

Consumer Conservation Saves Com-Ed's Neck During June Heatwave; Will Com-Ed Reward or Shaft Consumers for Their Efforts?

The Problem ...

ComEd and Illinois Power were recently called on the carpet by both the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Illinois Joint Legislative Committee on De-Regulation for their near miss of a total blackout this past June 25th. It was clear that neither was able to generate enough of their own electricity because so many of their unreliable nuclear plants were off line. The regional power grid was also unavailable to transfer in power they had purchased from other utilities due to storms and the failure of another nuclear plant in Ohio, both of which closed portions of the grid for a time.

The Solutions: Conservation and Energy Efficiency Work!

What saved ComEd's and IP's bacon was, quite simply, YOU! This fact was admitted in testimony before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) by ComEd and Illinois Power. So many small, residential and small business cus- tomers voluntarily conserved electricity when asked to avoid a total shutdown and collapse of the electrical grid system that over 700 mega-watts of power were conserved by ComEd customers alone! This is the power equivalent of one entire Dresden-sized nuclear reactor! The rolling- blackout scare has proved that 1.) conservation works, and 2.) people will do it.

In June ComEd and IP begged people to conserve energy to save THEIR power grid systems. Yet, in the early Spring, their lobbyists convinced State Senate President "Pate" Philip to kill energy efficiency and renewable energy amendments to the recently passed de-regulation bill that would have provided statewide funding for long-term programs, programs which would have made their systems more reliable, and which would have saved you money!!

The Facts: Conservation & Energy Efficiency Work!

In spite of all the self-serving claims to the contrary by electric utilities and their pals on government, these facts are now incontrovertible:

  • energy conservation and efficiency works, and does not mean "freezing in the dark," a scare tactic used by ComEd and IP in the past to stop people from saving energy.
  • energy conservation and efficiency help make the system more reliable, and prevent major disruptions and loss of power during emergencies like those experience in late June.
  • energy efficiency and conservation save you money, since you don't pay for electricity you don't use.
  • energy efficiency and conservation help protect the environment, since less pollution is created from using coal and nuclear plants unnecessarily.
  • energy efficiency and conservation need to be promoted, planned and implemented effectively in the long-term, not just haphazardly during emergencies.

    What You Can Do Next Time When The Lights Go Out

    If the hot weather returns, and ComEd and IP can't keep the lights on, DON'T CALL THEM! They already know what their job is supposed to be. It will be far more effective to call the people -- THE ACCOMPLICES -- who let ComEd and IP get away with doing whatever they want, whether it's gutting renewable energy or energy efficiency, or fighting to keep cogeneration out of Sear's Tower. They put us in this position; they need to work to make better energy choices in the future.


    "Who to Call When the Lights Go Out This Summer...."

    Here is a list of these folks to call when the lights go out, with their phone numbers, and how they worked WITH ComEd and other utilities to thwart "R.A.G.E." -- ratepayers for affordable, green energy:

    JOHN W. ROWE, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, COM-ED, P.O. Box A-3005, One First National Plaza, Chicago, IL 60690-3005; (312)394-5725

    Okay, we lied. You can and should call ComEd, just so it's their new CEO John Rowe. You could ask him why he expects consumers, customers and ratepayers to conserve electricity when it suits ComEd's needs, while his lobbyists work to defeat long-term energy efficiency proposals like those in H.B.1227 and 1228 last Spring. Ask him to call off his lobbyists and work with environmental groups to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy.

    SEN. JAMES "PATE" PHILIP, (R.-23rd Dist., Addison) (630)941-0094; 832-2356 fax

    This past Spring as president of the Illinois Senate, he and lobbyists from ComEd and Illinois Power killed two bills (HB 1227 and 1228) which would have provided funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Now, ComEd says we NEED energy efficiency!

    SEN. WILLIAM MAHAR, (R. -19th Dist., Orland Park) (708)349-1400; 403-9212 fax

    He pledged to fight for the two bills that Sen. Philip killed, but couldn't get Philip to see how important they were, or change his mind. Now, you're sitting on the dark....

    REP. PHILIP NOVAK, (D. - 85th Dist., Kankakee) (815)939-1983; 939-0081 fax

    He currently chairs the joint Illinois Legislative Committee on Energy and De-Regulation, and failed to fight hard to protect consumers from ComEd's current and past problems, yet criticizes ComEd now. If you want to talk the talk, then walk the walk!

    REP. VINCE PERSICO, (R. --39th Dist., Glen Ellyn) (630)858-0860; 858-0868 fax An important member of the joint Illinois Legislative Committee on Energy and De- Regulation, failed to fight hard to protect consumers from ComEd's current and past problems, yet criticizes ComEd now. Illinois consumers need more RESULTS and less TALK!

    RICHARD MATHIAS, CHAIR, ILLINOIS COMMERCE COMMISSION, (312)814-2841; - 2850; -1818 fax; ICC, 100 W. Randolph, Chicago 60601

    The newly appointed chair of the state agency that regulates ComEd and other utilities, and which will write the new rules on reliability of electric service. Let him know the kind of service you want, and the problems you've been having.

    MAYOR RICHARD DALEY, (Mayor, City of Chicago) (312)744-5000

    For all his belly-aching and stone throwing at ComEd, it's important to remember that he ignored the advice of over 70 Chicago community, labor and environmental groups in the late 1980s who pleaded with him not to sign the 27-year franchise with ComEd, and look for other energy alternatives. Now, he's in arbitration with ComEd to get them to provide $3 billion in pledged system improvements. We reap what we sow...?

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