Naperville’s Electric Rates; When Pennies Are Better Than Dollars

Naperville’s electric rates are consistent, they are consistently going up, not by a little, but by a lot. This is totally contrary to what the Naperville city council and specifically smart-meter ambassador John Krummen (running for city council re-election) said when city officials sold residents a bogus ‘promise’ that the installation of smart meters would save residents money. City officials were so confident that Naperville residents and businesses would save money, that they forced the installation of smart meters on the homes of residents who didn’t want them. City officials were so confident that they were right about saving money, they went as far as having residents hand-cuffed and arrested for refusing the forced installation. City officials were so confident they were right in doing so, that they bullied a resident into jail then into court. City officials were so confident they were right, that they spent a bundle of tax payer money to fight the battle in court, and try to pound the resident into submission with bullying tactics.The end result was that the City of Naperville lost the court case, and had to pay the resident a settlement costing taxpayers more lost dollars.

The bottom line is that not one Naperville resident or business has saved a nickel on electric rates using smart meters. In 2014 Naperville city officials increased electric rates by 6%, followed in 2015 with a 7% increase, then an 8.3% increase last year, and 3.6% this year and next year.

While Naperville is jacking up the rates in Naperville, ComEd has reduced electric rates to its customers. The Illinois Commerce Commission approved a $17.5 million ComEd rate cut effective April 1. Granted, it works out to about 50 cents less per month per customer, but given a choice between saving pennies with ComEd or paying more dollars per month with Naperville, the choice is clear.

In five days the voters have a choice to re-elect council members John Krummen and Judy Brodhead, both of whom supported the installation of smart meters, and both of whom supported electric rate increases or to just say “NO” to both Krummen and Brodhead; the choice is clear.

Show 4 Comments


  1. Gerard H Schilling

    Real surprise when crooked cronies and politicians join to screw the tax payers on matters they have no business interfering in or creating in the first place. Sell the electric company which has a bigger budget then the rest of the city. Do we want a city or an electric company? My vote is for a city.

  2. Jim Haselhorst

    First the ComEd rate reduction came after they had already put a rate increase in place. Leaving this detail out of the story provides a distorted view of the situation, but of course this is not the only detail that’s been left out. Like for example that all ComEd customers were also forced to install smart meters and part of the reduction in rate is a result of energy efficiencies gained by the use of those same smart meters.

    Of course the reason ComEd installed all those smart meters is same reason Naperville installed them. They are part of the Federal Governments Smart Grid requirement and all communities well eventually have to install smart meters. So while it is true that the timing of when to install smart meters was the City’s decision the decision to eventually install them was not. Naperville chose to install these meters when they did because that is when Federal funds were available to help pay for the cost of doing so.

    As to the arrest. The case before the court was not to determine whether the city had the authority to install the smart meter at this residence, but to decided issues about the actual arrest. The court never did rule on this case because the plaintiff settled out of court for a fraction of a percentage of the amount she originally demanded. This settlement decision by the city was not based on the merits of the case but on a simply cost analysis; the roughly $100K settlement was a fraction of what it would have cost to continue to fight this case simply to get a ruling in their favor rather then a settlement indicting no guilt. The settlement was the fiscally responsible choice by the city acting in the best interest of all its residents.

    Utility rate increases are a separate issue from potential saving from smart meters. The city never said there would be no future rate increased if these smart meters were install. This idea or suggestion is simply ludicrous. Rate increase will always happen because inflation is a fact of life, as operating costs go up so must rates, simple math. It is interest that the watchdog should suggest some association between rate increases and smart meters considering all the time the watchdog has spend attacking the city’s IMEA decision which the watchdog has repeated blamed as the sole source or cause for these rate increases.

    Krummen was not on the council when the IMEA and smart meters decisions were made so it makes no sense to hold him responsible for council actions he was not a part of. It really make on sense to hold anyone in the city responsible for installing smart meters since this was a federal initiative they had no say in. Finally if I am remembering correctly the decision to join IMEA was made before Brodhead join city council in 2009.

  3. Let’s not confuse the Smart Grid and Smart Meters. Smart meters are NOT required by the Federal government. Grant money was voluntarily taken and further DEBT incurred to get them installed. They do NOTHING to reduce the cost we pay for electricity.

    NONE of the promises made about smart meters have come true. They don’t even notify the electric utility when the power goes out! Does anyone even remember what smart meters are supposed to be doing to save us money on our electric bill? Money down the drain.

    Meanwhile, tThe privacy violation they pose is indisputable. The negative health effects from the RF and dirty electricity signals they emit are being felt by more and more residents. Support NSMA’s Federal Court lawsuit to force Naperville to offer them as the OPTION the Federal law does talk about.

    Brodhead WAS on the Council and Krummen WAS a shill speaker trying to get in the good graces of the city powers-that-be so he could run for council when the smart meter fiasco went down.

    And yes, IMEA is another complete FAILURE in the Council’s attempt to run a utility.

    They keep failing. We keep paying.

    Jim, maybe that is fine for you. I choose to hold people accountable for bad decisions.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      So ComEd is not forcing all its customers to have smart meters install? Not what the notice they sent to one of the property I managed said. Smart meters are and integral part of the Smart Grid which is why every electrical utility provider in the US either has installed them, is installing them or has a plan in place to install them. Naperville did provide an alternative to the smart meter. People that did not wanted a smart meter could have a digital meter installed instead. The city had already started the conversion from old analog meters to new digital meters years before the smart meter program was implemented and around 1/3 of the properties in Naperville already had digital meters, which stored data on hourly usage that could be downloaded when the meter is read (which was also done electrically).

      If these smart meters can not do any of the thing they were promised to do; provide city with power outage info, provide hourly usage so customers can modify usage to reduce usage during high rate periods, or eliminate the need for meter readers to visit each home (remote reading by city) then what information are they providing the city that is a violation of your privacy?

      If you look at your billing statement you will notice that you are getting billed for electricity at different rates. These rates correspond to the time of day the power was used, something that could not be done with the old analog meters. Not sure how a continuous record of how much power you use provides any more of a privacy violation then a history of your monthly use previously provided and good luck convincing any court otherwise. These meters can communicate information provided by smart appliances being used in a building if this function is enable for the appliance, but again this is something the user controls not the power providers.

      As to heath concerns from RF (radio frequency) transmissions. First there are no reputable (accepted by scientific community / per reviewed) studies that indicate there is a health issue here and if there were then shutting down these transmissions would also mean shutting down all wireless computer/internet communications since they use the same RF as smart meters. Worse yet all those wireless/WIFI access points are continues 24/7 transmissions were the smart meters are burst transmissions of a lower power about 6 time and hour. There are, however, several reputable studies showing that cellphone/cell-tower, power line and satellite/dish transmission (RF) could be linked to health issues. So if you are worried about RF causing you health problems I suggest you move to the Himalayas .

      These privacy and health arguments against smart meters simply lack any real foundation. They are an example of how people will look for any reason, even poorly supported ones, to justify a behavior or belief. And the campaign against smart meters in Naperville, is like the Japanese soldiers that kept on fighting for decades after Japan had surrender, it is fighting a battle were the outcome has already been determined. The city of Naperville’s only mistake with the smart meters was in being an early adopter, when there was still a lot of uncertainly surrounding this technology. This uncertainty does not exist today, which is why utility companies all across this country are stepping up installing these meters.

      IMEA did go through a lot of growing pains early on, including the prairie state campus problems, which created a great deal of debt for the city’s electrical utility enterprise that has impacted rates but this debt is being slowly retired. IMEA today provides 32 community, including Naperville, with competitive electrical rates. Again neither Brodhead or Krummen were on city council when the decision to join IMEA was made. So while you might consider the IMEA a council failure it is not one that can be attributed to these council members, meaning it was not their “mistake” and holding them accountable for this “bad decision” is irrational.

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