CHICAGO - Utility Will Offer Rebates in Case of Summer Power Outages : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Chicago Utility Will Offer Rebates

The Associated Press, Wed 31 May 2000 CHICAGO (AP)  If a heat wave leads to power outages this summer, consumers can expect the check to be in the mail.

That's what Commonwealth Edison plans after two widespread and lengthy outages last summer angered customers angry and city officials.

The company announced a pilot program Tuesday that will send $60 checks to residential customers who experience power outages lasting more than eight hours. The amount is the equivalent of the average one-month bill. Businesses will get a $100 credit.

``We believe this is the top (rebate) program in the country for putting our money where our mouth is,'' said Carl Croskey, a ComEd senior vice president.

The rebates cover severe heat, overloading and equipment failures, but not outages from storms or damage by third parties. The company provides electricity to about 3.5 million customers.

ComEd is spending more than $1.5 billion to upgrade its antiquated equipment and improve its generating capacity.

A blackout hit the Chicago area during a deadly heat wave last July, shutting off air conditioners and fans on a day when the temperature hit 104 degrees. As many as 100,000 customers in the city lost power. A second outage in August hit parts of Chicago's Loop, darkening office buildings and sending workers into the streets.

In the aftermath, several executives lost their jobs.

``There is no doubt Edison has taken significant steps to get things back in shape, but the only thing that matters with restoring credibility with customers is an extended period of reliability,'' said Martin Cohen, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board.


-- (, May 31, 2000

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