Answers

  • Hourly PricingOpen or Close

    • What is ComEd's Hourly Pricing program?

      ComEd’s Hourly Pricing program is an hourly electricity pricing program for residential customers that uses ComEd’s Rate BESH to determine your monthly energy bills. The program gives you access to hourly electricity prices that are based on the ComEd Zone PJM wholesale market prices. ComEd passes on the price of electricity at cost; you simply pay the market price.

    • How much can I save?

      Hourly Pricing participants have saved on average over 15 percent on their electric supply costs compared with what they would have paid on ComEd’s standard fixed-price rate.

      Savings percentage based on the electric supply section of participants’ energy bills from 2007 to 2017. Savings cannot be guaranteed. Individual savings vary based on weather, market conditions, and individual usage habits. The more you can shift energy usage to lower-priced times, the more you could save with Hourly Pricing.

    • Is Hourly Pricing right for me?

      Take a look at your bill to see how much you spend each month. Hourly Pricing is likely to be a good option if your monthly bill is greater than $50 and you are able to shift energy use to off-peak times.

      Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle owners who charge at home are generally a good fit for the program since hourly prices are typically low during overnight hours. Learn more about owning an electric vehicle on Hourly Pricing.

    • How will I know when prices will be high?

      You can elect to receive Hourly Pricing Alerts, which will let you know when prices could be high. Alerts can be sent via text message, email, or automated phone call.

      An alert that tells you to save energy immediately is sent when the real-time market price of electricity is trending high. When the 5-minute price is at or above 14 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for 30 consecutive minutes, an alert will be triggered and you will be notified based on your personal preference.

      An alert that tells you in advance to reduce your energy use tomorrow during specific hours can help reduce the Capacity Charge on your future bills. This is different from an alert caused by high prices.

      Real-time prices and day-ahead prices (after 5 p.m. CT) are available at on the Prices page or by calling 888-202-7787.

    • Is it true I’ll need a new meter to be in the program?

      Enrollment in Hourly Pricing requires the installation of an electric meter capable of measuring and recording electric usage in hourly intervals. Other than your current monthly standard metering charge, there is no additional monthly meter lease fee for this hourly recording meter, and you will not pay a fee for exchanging the meter. The exemption from the monthly meter lease fee and the meter exchange fee only applies to the first meter. If you have more than one meter participating in the program at your premises, you will be subject to paying a regular monthly meter lease fee and a meter exchange fee for each additional hourly recording meter. Each meter associated with your ComEd account must be exchanged for an hourly recording meter prior to becoming active on ComEd’s Hourly Pricing program/hourly rate. If a smart meter(s) has already been installed at your premises, that meter(s) can be used to participate in Hourly Pricing.

    • How can I take advantage of the difference between real-time pricing and regular pricing?

      If you shift the use of energy-hungry appliances like your air conditioner, laundry machines, and dishwasher to lower-priced hours – like evenings, nights, and weekends – it potentially could make a difference in your energy bills.

    • How long must I remain in the program and is there a fee?

      Hourly Pricing participants may request to leave Hourly Pricing at any time; however, you may not rejoin the program for a period of 12 months following the termination. There is no fee to participate in Hourly Pricing.

    • Are there any environmental benefits from being in ComEd's Hourly Pricing program?

      Yes, Hourly Pricing has made a positive impact on the environment. By controlling and shifting your energy usage to lower-priced hours, you’ll help reduce energy demand during peak times when the use of older, less efficient generation facilities is often needed. In this way, you’ll reduce the release of emissions that contribute to global warming.

      Since 2007, Hourly Pricing participants have saved 47 million kWh in energy and have prevented 42,569 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.

    • How do I sign up?

      There are two ways to sign up:
      Click here for more information or to enroll online.
      Call us at 888-202-7787.

  • Billing FAQsOpen or Close

    • What are the charges that appear on my Hourly Pricing participant bill?

      Some of the line items and charges will be the same for both participants in ComEd’s Hourly Pricing program and for customers on ComEd’s standard fixed-price rate. Some line items will be different or will be calculated based on different rates. Below, you will find more information about the line items on your bill and how the charges for Hourly Pricing participants differ from the charges for customers on the standard fixed-price rate. All charges on ComEd bills are based on tariffs and riders approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission. ComEd’s full rate book is available online at ComEd.com/Rates and should be considered the official record for these items. The core components of all bills are the same. They include Electricity Supply Charges, Delivery Service Charges, and Taxes and Fees. These components are broken into the following line items on participants’ bills. Most line items appear on both Hourly Pricing bills and standard fixed-price rate bills. Those that appear only on Hourly Pricing bills or are calculated differently for Hourly Pricing participants are indicated below.

      A. Electricity Supply Services cover the actual supply of electricity (either ComEd’s fixed-price rate BES Electricity Supply Charges or the special combined hourly rate of Rate BESH and Rider RRTP Electricity Supply Charges).

      • Electricity Supply Charge (calculated differently for Hourly Pricing)
      • Transmission Services Charge (calculated differently for Hourly Pricing)
      • Capacity Charge (separate Hourly Pricing line item; costs included in Fixed-Price Rate Electricity Supply Charge)
      • Purchased Electricity Adjustment (calculated differently for Hourly Pricing)
      • Misc Procurement Component Chg (separate Hourly Pricing line item; costs included in Fixed-Price Rate Electricity Supply Charge)

       

      B. Delivery Services – ComEd covers billing and delivering the electricity supply to your home via distribution lines.

      • Customer Charge (same for Fixed-Price Rate and Hourly Pricing)
      • Standard Metering Charge (same for Fixed-Price Rate and Hourly Pricing)
      • Distribution Facilities Charge (same for Fixed-Price Rate and Hourly Pricing)
      • IL Electricity Distribution Charge (same for Fixed-Price Rate and Hourly Pricing)

       

      C. Taxes and Fees

      • Environmental Cost Recovery Adjustment (same for Fixed-Price Rate and Hourly Pricing)
      • Energy Efficiency Programs (same for Fixed-Price Rate and Hourly Pricing)
      • Franchise Costs (same for Fixed-Price Rate and Hourly Pricing)
      • Taxes (same for Fixed-Price Rate and Hourly Pricing)
      • Zero Emission Standard (same for Fixed-Price Rate and Hourly Pricing)
      • Renewable Portfolio Standard (calculated differently for Hourly Pricing)
    • How does your Hourly Pricing bill differ from a standard fixed-price rate bill?

      Most line items are the same for all residential customers, and most are charged at the same rate:

      • All standard delivery service related charges are the same.
      • Taxes and Fees will use the same rates for both Hourly Pricing and standard fixed-price rate customers.

       

      Some line items and charges on your Hourly Pricing bill will differ from the standard fixed-price rate:

      • Under supply related charges, all customers will have an Electricity Supply Charge, a Transmission Services Charge, and a Purchased Electricity Adjustment. However, the rates for these line items are different for Hourly Pricing and standard fixed-price rate customers.
      • Hourly Pricing bills include separate line items for the Electricity Supply Charge, the Capacity Charge, and the Miscellaneous Procurement Component Charge. Standard fixed-price rate bills include the costs for these three items in a single line item (listed as Electricity Supply Charge).
    • What are the differences in how charges are calculated under ComEd's Hourly Pricing vs. ComEd’s standard fixed-price rate?

      A. The Electricity Supply Charge

      ComEd’s fixed-price rate Electricity Supply Charge is based on the costs of procuring power, which are incurred pursuant to the Illinois Commerce Commission-approved procurement plan. This Electricity Supply Charge includes the cost for the electric energy, capacity, and other miscellaneous services and procurement costs. All of these components are purchased together and combined into one Electricity Supply Charge for standard fixed-price rate customers.

      The Hourly Pricing Electricity Supply Charge is based on the ComEd Zone PJM real-time hourly prices, but it does not include capacity costs or miscellaneous services and procurement costs. Therefore, Hourly Pricing participants have a separate Capacity Charge line item and a Miscellaneous Procurement Component Charge line item.

      ComEd does not profit from the Electricity Supply Charges; it simply passes through the cost of supplying electricity to its customers.

       

      B. Transmission Services Charge and Purchased Electricity Adjustment

      The Transmission Services Charge is different for Hourly Pricing participants than it is for customers on the standard fixed-price rate because the supply for Hourly Pricing participants is procured differently (directly through PJM rather than through the Illinois procurement processes). For a similar reason, Hourly Pricing participants’ Purchased Electricity Adjustment (PEA) charge or credit is different from the charge or credit for standard fixed-price rate customers. ComEd does not mark up or profit from these charges. They are simply a pass-through of costs incurred by ComEd.

    • Why do I pay a different Transmission Services Charge with ComEd's Hourly Pricing program?

      Transmission Services Charge under ComEd’s standard fixed-price rate

      ComEd purchases transmission services for all standard fixed-price rate customers in regional markets regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This charge is then apportioned to different customer groups on the standard fixed-price rate, resulting in different Transmission Services Charge rates for residential, commercial and industrial customers.

      Transmission Services Charge with ComEd’s Hourly Pricing

      ComEd purchases transmission services for all hourly rate customers in regional markets regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), so the same Transmission Services Charge rate is charged to all hourly customers (residential, commercial, and industrial).

    • What is the Purchased Electricity Adjustment?

      The Purchased Electricity Adjustment (PEA) acts as the balancing mechanism to assure that ComEd’s supply charges exactly match supply costs over time. This balance is reviewed monthly, and the charge rate is adjusted accordingly. ComEd’s revenues track the actual payments that ComEd must make to procure supply service.

      The PEA can be a charge or a credit that addresses the difference, if any, between the actual amount of money collected from ComEd’s customers for electricity supplied and the cost incurred to supply that electricity.

      The supply costs are tracked (and the PEA is adjusted) separately for different customer groups. As a result, the Purchased Electricity Adjustments may differ between Hourly Pricing participants and customers on the standard fixed-price rate. In 2017, there were six months when this charge was a higher credit for Hourly Pricing participants, four months when this charge was the same for all customers, and two months when this charge was a lower credit for Hourly Pricing participants.

      Please see ComEd’s Entire Schedule of Rates for Electric Service sheets No. 37-39 for more information related to the PEA Factor.

    • Why do I still have to pay ComEd’s Standard Metering Charges?

      The delivery services that ComEd provides include standard metering charges for all the different customer classes that ComEd supplies. Thus, there is a Standard Metering charge for all ComEd residential customers.

      Additionally, enrollment in Hourly Pricing requires the installation of an electric meter capable of measuring and recording electric usage in hourly intervals. Other than your current monthly Standard Metering charge, there is no additional monthly meter lease fee for this hourly recording meter and you will not pay a fee for exchanging the meter. The exemption from the monthly meter lease fee and the meter exchange fee only applies to the first meter. If you have more than one meter participating in the program at your premises, then you are subject to a regular monthly meter lease fee and a meter exchange fee for each additional hourly recording meter. Each meter associated with your ComEd account must be exchanged for an hourly recording meter in order to participate in Hourly Pricing.

    • What is the Capacity Charge?

      The Capacity Charge covers ComEd’s costs to reserve enough electricity to meet demand at all times, including peak hours. Capacity Charges essentially allow ComEd to reserve generating capacity in advance, ensuring that enough electricity will be available when it is needed. All electricity suppliers are required to reserve capacity to cover their customer’s Capacity Obligation. The Capacity Obligation represents your expected level of hourly usage in the afternoon on a hot summer day.

      For residential customers who pay the standard fixed-price rate, capacity costs are included in the Electricity Supply Charge. For Hourly Pricing participants, the Electricity Supply Charge does not include these capacity costs. Instead ComEd lists this charge as a separate line item on Hourly Pricing bills (labeled as the Capacity Charge). As the market price of capacity fluctuates, both standard fixed-price rate customers and Hourly Pricing participants will see adjustments to their rate. The Capacity Charge item on your bill is adjusted every year in June. ComEd does not profit from the Capacity Charge. Instead, ComEd simply passes through capacity costs to its customers without mark up.

      Check out these two videos to learn more about your Capacity Charge and how you can save even more when you reduce it.

    • How is the Capacity Charge calculated?

      There are two components to this charge, your Capacity Obligation and the Capacity Charge rate. Multiplied together, they make up the Capacity Charge item on your bill. The method used to calculate your individual Capacity Charge depends on when your Hourly Pricing meter was first installed.

      Capacity Obligation

      If you were enrolled in Hourly Pricing during the previous summer, your Capacity Obligation starting in June is calculated based on your individual hourly electric energy usage data from the previous summer. In this case, ComEd calculates your highest electricity demand (adjusted for Transmission and Distribution losses) coincident with the five hours of the summer when the overall PJM System demand was highest (PJM Coincident Demand) (this has historically occurred between noon and 6 p.m. on weekdays) and the five hours of the summer when ComEd’s System demand was highest (ComEd Coincident Demand). These two sets of five coincident demands are averaged and adjusted for certain PJM factors to determine your contribution to the system load, creating your Capacity Obligation.

      Your Capacity Obligation is then used to calculate your individual Capacity Charge. So, the higher or lower your demand was during those ten peak hours (coincident with the five PJM System peak hours and the five ComEd System peak hours) of last summer, the higher or lower your Capacity Charge will be this year beginning with your June Billing Period.

      Similarly, if you had a smart meter the previous summer, but were not on Hourly Pricing, your Capacity Obligation is based on your individual hourly electric energy usage data from the previous summer, as long as the data can be validated. For months it can’t be validated, the class average method described below is used.

      If you had an older style meter (non-smart meter), your Capacity Obligation starting in June is based on the class average profile adjusted for your individual electric energy usage data from that previous summer. (ComEd’s four residential customer classes are: Single Family Non-Electric Space Heating, Single Family Electric Space Heating, Multi-Family Non-Electric Space Heating, and Multi-Family Electric Space Heating).

      Capacity Charge Rate
      The Capacity Charge Rate is updated each June based on the cost of capacity in the PJM wholesale market.

    • How can I reduce my Capacity Charge in the future?

      Reducing your electric energy usage during peak hours (which have historically occurred between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the hottest weekdays of the summer) could lower your Capacity Charge on future bills.

      In general, the price of electricity goes up when demand is high, so the peak system load is likely to correspond with higher real-time prices. This means that if you can reduce your electric energy usage when prices are high, you’ll also have a good chance of reducing your demand during peak system load. This in turn may result in a lower Capacity Obligation, and thus, a lower Capacity Charge in the future.

    • What is the Miscellaneous Procurement Component Charge?

      The Miscellaneous Procurement Component Charge is a line item for Hourly Pricing participants only. It is itemized on your bill to make it easier to compare the total supply costs under Hourly Pricing to those on the standard fixed-price rate. This charge recovers the costs that ComEd incurs related to procuring electric power and energy directly from PJM-administered markets for customers with hourly energy pricing that are not recovered through the application of the Capacity Charge, the Electricity Supply Charge, and the Transmission Charge. Similar costs for customers on the standard fixed-price rate are included in their Electricity Supply Charge.

    • What is the IL Electricity Distribution Charge?

      The IL Electricity Distribution Charge is the same for both Hourly Pricing participants and customers on the standard fixed-price rate. This charge recovers the Illinois Electricity Distribution Tax and uncollectible costs associated with the application of that tax. This is not a new charge. It appears as a separate line item in the Delivery Services section of the bill.

    • What is the Customer Charge?

      The Customer Charge is calculated the same way for both Hourly Pricing participants and customers on the standard fixed-price rate. The Customer Charge recovers costs such as the standard service connection, customer service operations, and billing. The Customer Charge also includes charges from Rider RCA for state funds for renewable energy resources, coal technology development, low-income energy assistance, and Hourly Pricing cost recovery charge. This is a $0.06 monthly charge that all residential retail customers (including those taking service under Hourly Pricing) are billed. This charge is subject to change as allowed by the Illinois Public Utilities Act.

    • What is the Renewable Portfolio Standard?

      This charge helps support the procurement of renewable energy credits (RECs) to meet requirements set forth in the Illinois Power Agency Act. The Renewable Portfolio Standard rate is 0.142 cents per kWh for Hourly Pricing participants and 0.189 cents per kWh for customers on the standard fixed-price rate. These rates are only applicable through May 2019. For more information on the Renewable Portfolio Standard, visit ComEd.com/FEJA.

    • What is the Zero Emission Standard?

      This line item supports zero-carbon energy supplied to Illinois and is the same rate for all residential customers. This rate is only applicable through May 2019. For more information on the Zero Emission Standard, visit ComEd.com/FEJA.

    • What is the Energy Efficiency Programs charge?

      The Energy Efficiency Programs charge is the same for all residential customers. This charge recovers costs related to ComEd’s energy efficiency and demand response plans, which were approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission. This includes programs that are developed, implemented, or administered by or for ComEd or the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). ComEd does not mark up or profit from these charges.

    • What if I am a Net Metering customer?

      If you are currently participating in ComEd’s Net Metering program (Rider POGNM) and you switch your rate to the Hourly Pricing program, your current kWh Net Metering credits will not expire. On Hourly Pricing, the credits for supply are calculated as a dollar value at the time of generation. For more information on the Net Metering program, you can call 800-825-5436.

  • Price Alerts / NotificationsOpen or Close

    • How and when will I know the best times to save energy?

      Hourly Pricing Alerts will tell you to either reduce now or tomorrow. Alerts are sent when electricity prices are trending high or when energy is expected to be in high demand the following day. No matter when an alert tells you to reduce, just take the same actions you normally would, like delaying the start of major appliances or raising your air conditioner thermostat by a few degrees.

      You can choose to receive alerts via text message, email, or automated phone call. To make changes to your alert communication preferences, sign in to your My Hourly Pricing Account or email us at info@ComEdHourlyPricing.com.

      Check out the video below to learn how Hourly Pricing Alerts can help you save now and in the future.

    • How do Hourly Pricing Alerts work?

      An alert that tells you to save energy immediately is sent when the real-time market price of electricity is trending high. When the 5-minute price is at or above 14 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for 30 consecutive minutes, an alert will be triggered, and you will be notified based on your personal preference.

      An alert that tells you in advance to reduce your electricity use tomorrow during specific hours can help reduce the capacity charge on your future electricity bills. This is different from an alert caused by high prices, but the idea is the same: reduce to save.

      You can learn more or change your alert communication options in your My Hourly Pricing Account or you can email us at info@ComEdHourlyPricing.com.

  • Central AC CyclingOpen or Close

    • What is ComEd’s Central AC Cycling?

      ComEd’s Central Air Conditioning (AC) Cycling is a demand response program for central air conditioners that allows homeowners like you to earn credits on your bill.

      Customers enrolled in ComEd’s Peak Time Savings program are ineligible to enroll in Central AC Cycling or its Load Guard option. If you wish to enroll in Central AC Cycling, please visit the Peak Time Savings enrollment page to remove your home from the program before enrolling in Central AC Cycling.

    • How does ComEd’s Central AC Cycling work?

      Once you enroll, ComEd will install a special switch on your central air conditioning unit that allows them to cycle your air conditioner’s compressor off and on during hot summer days when demand for energy is highest. In return, you will receive a credit on your June through September ComEd bills.

    • How much can I earn?

      Depending upon which option you choose, you can earn a total annual credit of either $20 or $40 by giving up a few degrees of cooling during a limited number of summer weekdays. If you select the 50% option, you will receive a $5 credit on your June through September bills. If you select the 100% option, you will receive a $10 credit on your June through September bills. If you have more than one central air conditioning unit, all units in your household will need to have a switch installed to participate, but the credit remains $5 or $10 per household per month.

    • Will the switch that ComEd installs harm my air conditioner?

      No. Each switch is tested before installation. Use of the switch has been approved by top air conditioner manufacturers including Carrier, York, Lennox, and Trane and will not affect the warranty of your unit.

    • Can I really make a difference by signing up?

      Yes! By participating in ComEd’s Central AC Cycling, you help ComEd provide reliable service for everyone by reducing peak demand on the electrical system. In addition, even the smallest energy reduction helps save natural resources. Each summer that ComEd has used the switch, ComEd’s Central AC Cycling participants have reduced greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming and acid rain. ComEd’s Central AC Cycling and similar energy-saving efforts can also help defer the need for new generation resources that can add to the cost of providing electricity.

    • I have more than one air conditioning unit. Can I get more credits?

      No. Since air conditioner efficiency varies, ComEd can only offer a $5 or $10 credit per household per month. If you have more than one central air conditioning unit, all units in your household will need to have a switch installed to participate.

    • I have a portable or window air conditioning unit but not a central air conditioner. Am I able to participate?

      No. ComEd’s Central AC Cycling program requires your household to have a central air conditioning unit.

    • Will ComEd continue to maintain the control switch to ensure that it is operating correctly?

      Yes, ComEd will inspect the control switch periodically. If the control switch becomes disconnected or you install a new unit, you will need to contact ComEd.

    • How does ComEd decide when to use the switch?

      It depends on overall demand for electricity, which is usually dictated by the weather. Typical peak demand occurs on summer weekday afternoons when the temperature is extremely hot and the humidity is high.

    • Will I notice a change in the temperature inside my house when the switch is activated?

      Only your air conditioner’s compressor is cycled. The fan stays on, circulating cool air and keeping your home comfortable. In fact, participants report very little difference in the comfort level of their homes. To keep your home cool on hot days, keep window shades closed, turn on ceiling fans, and refrain from using heat-generating appliances.

    • How do I learn more and enroll in ComEd's Central AC Cycling?

      Visit ComEd.com/ACcycling or call 800-986-0070.

  • Load GuardOpen or Close

    • How does Load Guard work?

      Load Guard is a service offered to all Hourly Pricing participants with a central air conditioner who are enrolled in ComEd’s Central AC Cycling and not participating in the Nest Rush Hour Rewards program. Load Guard runs from May 1 to September 30.

      When the price of electricity exceeds 14 cents per kWh, Load Guard automatically switches your central air conditioner into a conservation mode for a two-hour period. During this conservation mode, your air conditioner’s compressor will cycle off and on every 15 minutes. This helps keep your home cool but still protects you against extreme electricity prices.

    • How do I sign up for Load Guard?

      If you would like to sign up for Load Guard, you must first be enrolled in ComEd’s Central AC Cycling. The Load Guard program is not available for participants in the Nest Rush Hour Rewards program.

      If you are not currently enrolled in ComEd’s Central AC Cycling, you can learn more and enroll by visiting ComEd.com/ACcycling, or by calling 800-986-0070. Once you are enrolled in AC Cycling, you can sign up for Load Guard in three easy steps.

      Step 1: Log in to your My Hourly Pricing Account.
      Step 2: Click on “My Settings” in the top toolbar.
      Step 3: Scroll down to “Load Guard Settings,” check the “Enroll in Load Guard” box, and click Submit.

    • Is there a charge to sign up for Load Guard?

      No, there is currently no fee for signing up for Load Guard.

    • How much can I expect to save monthly? Yearly?

      While most customers achieve savings on ComEd’s Hourly Pricing program, your net savings depends on your ability to limit your central AC’s usage during the periodic high price periods (typically very hot summer weekday afternoons). Usage and savings vary greatly from customer to customer.

    • Will I notice a dramatic change in temperature?

      Only your air conditioner’s compressor is cycled. The fan stays on, circulating cool air and keeping your home comfortable. In fact, participants report very little difference in the comfort level of their homes. To keep your home cool on hot days, keep window shades closed, turn on ceiling fans, and refrain from using heat-generating appliances.

    • Will I be notified when a Load Guard event is triggered?

      Load Guard event notifications are combined with Hourly Pricing Alerts and are sent via email. If you would like to be notified when there is a Load Guard event, you must update your Hourly Pricing Alert preferences by logging in to your My Hourly Pricing Account and clicking on “My Settings” in the top toolbar.

    • Can I override the Load Guard conservation mode during an event?

      No. Once the Load Guard event is in effect, your central air conditioner’s compressor will cycle off and on every 15 minutes for the next two hours. You cannot override this setting. You can make changes to your Load Guard settings by logging in to your My Hourly Pricing Account. However, changes to your Load Guard settings can take up to 32 hours to take effect.

    • If I decide to cancel my enrollment in Load Guard, will I be charged a penalty?

      No, there is no penalty for withdrawing from Load Guard. You can change your Load Guard enrollment status by logging in to your My Hourly Pricing Account, calling us at 888-202-7787, or emailing us at info@ComEdHourlyPricing.com.