(CN) – Commonwealth Edison will pay $46.2 million in restitution to customers to settle claims that it violated the Illinois Public Utilities Act.
The settlement resolves two lawsuits filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, in 2008 and 2010. The refunds, which will average $8 a customer, will be paid as credits on customers’ bills.
In 2008, Madigan claimed Commonwealth Edison’s “smart grid” surcharge violated the Illinois Public Utilities Act. Her claims were upheld in two appellate court decisions, in 2010 and 2012.
The 2010 lawsuit challenged the method the Illinois Commerce Commission used to approve increased rates to cover Commonwealth Edison’s capital investments. Madigan argued in the 2008 lawsuit that the ICC inflated the value of Commonwealth Edison’s investments, which erroneously resulted in higher rates for customers.
The 2010 appellate court decision agreeing with Madigan’s position prompted an ICC ruling for $36.7 million in refunds to customers.
Commonwealth Edison challenged the ICC’s authority to order the refunds. In 2013, an appellate court upheld Madigan’s and the industrial customers’ argument that Commonwealth Edison owed refunds.
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