Chicago Sun-Times Mentions COFI for Utility Victory

Six POWER-PAC IL parent leaders and COFI staff stand outside Chicago's City Hall with signs about lowering heating bills. Prior to this, they attended the 10.19.2023 ICC Meeting to urge the Commission to reject the rate hikes and make utilities more affordable.

On Dec. 4, the Chicago Sun-Times mentioned COFI for its role in winning a major utility victory for Illinois families! On Nov. 16, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved recommendations from COFI/POWER-PAC IL, the National Consumer Law Center, and Legal Aid Chicago to implement low-income discount rates for Peoples Gas customers and other utility companies in Illinois.

Here is an excerpt:

“After persuading state regulators to slash requested rate hikes sought by natural gas companies in Illinois, consumer advocates and environmental justice activists are hailing a new discount rate system that’s expected to help prevent more utility shut-offs in lower-income neighborhoods across Chicago.

The Illinois Commerce Commission on Nov. 16 ordered Peoples Gas and other utilities to implement the tiered discount rate system — the second of its kind to be introduced in the nation— by October 2024, promising to expand the pool of Chicagoans eligible for help with their heating bills.

‘This is an absolute game-changer for people struggling with their heating bills in brutal Chicago winters,’ said Karen Lusson, senior attorney for the National Consumer Law Center who argued before the commission on behalf of the nonprofit Community Organizing and Family Issues.”

Read the Sun-Times coverage here. | Read more about how COFI organized and won this victory.