The Trib reports: “Illinois regulators and consumer advocates said they will turn up the heat on Commonwealth Edison parent Exelon Corp. to make sure that customers in New Jersey aren’t the only ones who benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars in proposed savings from the company’s merger with Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.
Their comments came after Exelon Chairman and Chief Executive John Rowe suggested that sweeteners may be in order for the Garden State as the utility seeks swift approval of the merger from state regulators there.
‘We recognize time is money,’ Rowe told analysts on a conference call. ‘We’re prepared to share a little in order to get an expedited result.’
That led Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Edward Hurley to question Exelon’s motives and to look into whether Illinois rate-payers would see any kind of relief from cost savings that result from the $14 billion merger.
‘What about Illinois?’ Hurley asked. ‘If there is going to be a merger savings, we should have something for Illinois.’
When the Chicago-based company announced the acquisition of Newark-based PSEG in December, Exelon said it would save $400 million in the first year and $500 million a year after that. The savings are to come through economies of scale, elimination of jobs and improved operations.
Watch for: the company to come up with modest breaks for consumers here, but nothing substantial. Rates are frozen until 2007 as part of Illinois’ deregulation of the electricity industry.”