The Citizen's Utility Board is keeping a close eye on what could prove to be a precedent-setting case involving northern Illinois' largest electric utility. Commonwealth Edison has been told it must reimburse customers who suffer losses after extensive power outages due to storms, an administrative law judge has determined, but the Illinois Commerce Commission will have the final say as to how many customers will be affected.
The Illinois legislature passed a law several years ago requiring ComEd and Ameren to give damages to people under certain situations involving lengthy power outages and spoiled food. Jim Chilsen, with the Citizen's Utility Board, says the utilities have for years skirted the mandate, due to the way they define storms.
The ruling would also allow municipalities to seek reimbursement from utilities for the cost of providing emergency services during extended outages.