COFI

Parent Victory! Fewer Utilities Disconnections Starting in 2024

We are thrilled to share COFI/POWER-PAC IL’s latest victory: thanks to parent leaders’ perseverance and hard work, utilities companies Ameren and ComEd have agreed to decrease the number of people they disconnect from lights and gas in the communities that have seen the most disconnections by at least 34% over 4 years starting in 2024! This is part of a new rate-setting formula approved by utility regulators at the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Since 2020, parent leaders in the Utilities Affordability subcommittee of the Stepping Out of Poverty campaign have fought to reduce disconnections of electricity and gas as a way of providing relief to communities hit hard by the COVID pandemic. Working with Karen Lusson of the National Consumer Law Center, parents urged the ICC to require utilities companies to demonstrate that they are making their services more affordable to low-income communities.

The top priority, according to parents? Stop disconnecting families! After several rounds of litigation and negotiation, the ICC ruled in our favor!

Beginning in 2024 and for the next 4 years, Ameren and ComEd profits will be tied to their ability to:

  • Reduce electricity and gas disconnections by 34% in the 20 Illinois zip codes most affected (most are Black and Brown communities)
  • Increase community outreach to help decrease disconnections
  • Continue to meet with COFI/POWER-PAC IL for full transparency

Congratulations to POWER-PAC IL leaders for this important, meaningful victory that will positively impact the lives of thousands of low-income families!

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