Request for Information
Franchise for Electricity Delivery
The City of Chicago (“City”), through its Department of Assets, Information and Services (“AIS”), invites interested parties to respond to this Request for Information (“RFI”) regarding the City’s Franchise for Electricity Delivery.
This RFI is intended to:
- Solicit information, ideas, and expressions of interest to inform the City’s planning and determinations regarding future electricity delivery franchises for the nation’s third largest city and largest urban center between America’s coasts;
- Explore new and innovative ways to reliably, equitably, affordably and sustainably strengthen, maintain and operate the electricity grid within the City of Chicago;
- Allow the City to gauge interest from both the incumbent franchisee and others regarding new or renewed electric franchise(s); and
- Ensure the City receives informed input from a diverse set of interested entities and organizations responding to the RFI.
The Request for Information can be found here: RFI City of Chicago Franchise of Electricity Delivery
Submissions to the RFI must be sent to ElectricityFranchise@cityofchicago.org no later than 4PM CST, Friday May 28, 2021.
Late submissions may not be reviewed.
Questions concerning the RFI should be sent to ElectricityFranchise@cityofchicago.org no later than 4PM CST, Friday May 7, 2021.
- 2008 Climate Action Plan
- 2015 Climate Agenda
- Greenhouse Gas Inventory in 2017
- City of Chicago Municipalization Feasibility Report
- 1992 Franchise Agreement
- Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot's Letter Outlining Electricity Franchise Policy Priorities
- Electricity Franchise Agreement web page
What is a Franchise Agreement?
An electricity Franchise Agreement grants rights to use the public right of way to install, maintain, and operate the wires, poles, and other infrastructure required to deliver electricity to residents and businesses across the city. There is currently one electricity Franchise Agreement with Commonwealth Edison, ComEd, which took effect on January 1, 1992.
What is a Request for Information?
A Request for Information (RFI) is an invitation for information, interest, recommendations and suggested solutions to a particular subject matter and support better understanding of market conditions. The RFI also provides the City’s goals, objectives and proposed process for a project.
What is the Energy and Equity Agreement?
The Energy and Equity Agreement is a proposed agreement accompanying the Franchise Agreement to ensure that when the next franchise takes effect, there are meaningful benefits and programs for Chicago communities. Future franchisees will be expected to address years of inequitable infrastructure investment, assess efficacy of programs alongside community stakeholders, and execute strategies that enable all customers to participate in the clean energy transition. By comparison, the Franchise Agreement focuses on provisions related to infrastructure access and use of the public way to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable energy.
How can the public provide input in process?
RFI responses will be publicly posted to this page. Chicago residents are invited to submit comments on the submissions or offer other suggestions about the City’s Electricity Franchise by writing FranchiseFeedback@cityofchicago.org.
By when does the City need to negotiate a new Franchise and Energy and Equity Agreement?
The current franchise with ComEd expired on December 31st, 2020. However, it included a “rollover provision” which allows the current Franchise Agreement to stay in place until a new agreement is established.
How will the Franchise Agreement help the City reach its 100% renewable energy goals?
By state law, the utility that delivers electricity to consumers is not allowed to generate electricity. This is because Illinois, as well as a number of other states, has a “deregulated” energy market. The Franchise Agreement remains important, however, for achieving the City’s 100% clean renewable energy goals. It can support the goal through strategies such as: minimizing financial barriers to solar adoption, expanding energy efficiency programs, and upgrading parts of the grid to ensure that all communities can access clean renewable energy.
How does this process impact reliability of electricity delivery?
This will have no impact on reliability. Until a new franchise agreement is reached with ComEd or another party, ComEd will still be held to the same high standards of service. Any new franchise, whether with ComEd or another provider, will also ensure continued reliability and safety. In addition, all public utilities are closely regulated by the Illinois Commerce Commission and are held to specific standards to ensure safe, reliable service.
What if the City wants to create its own municipal energy authority?
The City will retain the right to create its own municipal energy authority.
How does a company or organization respond to the Request for Information (RFI)?
RFI Respondents are requested to submit one (1) PDF copy of the requested information via e-mail to: ElectricityFranchise@cityofchicago.org by Friday May 28, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. All questions concerning this RFI should be directed to ElectricityFranchise@cityofchicago.org by Friday May 7, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.
What are the next steps?
Those wishing to submit a formal response to the Request For Information are invited to submit questions by Friday, May 7, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. and deliver their final response to ElectricityFranchise@cityofchicago.org by Friday, May 28, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.
Public comments on any component of the City’s Electricity Franchise can be submitted to FranchiseFeedback@cityofchicago.org.