FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2023
ETCC Applauds Decision by Governor Pritzker to Veto Electric Utility ‘Right of First Refusal’ Provision in HB 3445 - a Victory for Consumers
WASHINGTON – The Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition welcomed the decision by Governor J.B. Pritzker to stand up to incumbent monopoly utilities and veto the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) provision in HB 3445, which would have led to higher electricity transmission prices. Illinois becomes the latest state to reject a ROFR law, which have been shown to raise transmission costs because they block competition and stymie innovation.
In a statement, Paul Cicio, Chair of the Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition, said: “By vetoing the ROFR provision, Governor Pritzker has powerfully stood up against utility monopoly interests and shown that he is on the side of consumers and backs lower electricity prices. The ROFR was anti-competitive, anti-consumer, inflationary, and Illinois families and businesses would have paid higher electricity prices for decades to come.”
In a statement on the veto, Governor J.B. Pritzker stated, “The right of first refusal language inserted by Senate Amendment 4 will raise costs for rate payers by giving incumbent utility providers in the MISO region a monopoly over new transmission lines. Eliminating competition will cause rates to increase in the MISO region, where there is currently over $3.6 billion in planned transmission construction in the Ameren service territory. Without competition, Ameren ratepayers will pay for these transmission projects at a much higher cost. Competitively bidding transmission construction, instead of giving the utility a monopoly, has been shown to lower costs significantly.”
Average electricity prices in Illinois have soared by 57% since 2000, with Illinois now ranking 13th highest in the nation for electricity rates. Illinois families’ electricity bills are already 10% higher than the national average. Electricity transmission competition has been shown to lower costs by as much as 40%.
About the Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition
The Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition (ETCC) is a broad-based, nation-wide coalition committed to increasing competition in America’s electricity transmission infrastructure. We advocate for common-sense policies and solutions that result in competitively priced transmission projects, which reduce energy costs for all ratepayers – from large manufacturers to residential consumers. The ETCC represents a diverse group of more than 80 companies and organizations from all 50 states, including manufacturing groups, retail electric consumers, state consumer advocates, public power representatives, think tanks, and non-incumbent transmission developers.
For more information, visit: www.electricitytransmissioncompetitioncoalition.org.
 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Average Price: Electricity per Kilowatt-Hour in Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (CBSA) [APUS23A72610], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/APUS23A72610
 U.S. Energy Information Administration, Average Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector, Residential, May 2023, https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=table_5_06_a
 Brattle Group: Cost Savings Offered by Competition in Electric Transmission, https://www.brattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/16726_cost_savings_offered_by_competition_in_electric_transmission.pdf