Electricity Franchise Agreement

To meet the growing and complex energy needs of Chicago communities, the City is proposing an Electricity Franchise Agreement and a parallel, first-of-its-kind Energy and Equity Agreement. The City of Chicago uses its authority through the electricity delivery franchise to manage the use of the right of the public way to deliver electricity to businesses and communities. The franchise does not, and cannot, set Chicagoan’s electricity rates, which are regulated by the Illinois Commerce Commission. The Energy and Equity Agreement will support realizing the City's economic and climate goals through investments in infrastructure, programs, and services. Together, these agreements are a commitment from the City to:

  • Assure and deliver an adequate, safe, and reliable supply of electricity to meet the electricity needs of Chicago;
  • Ensure that the people of Chicago have an electric system that is resilient in the face of climate threats and equitably reduce energy cost burdens for residents;
  • Promote a clean energy future for all by bringing the benefits of energy efficiency, decarbonization of buildings, and access to affordable renewable energy and carbon-free transportation options to all residents;
  • Advance Chicago’s 62% carbon emissions reduction goal by 2040 as set out in the 2022 Climate Action Plan; and
  • Expand workforce and economic opportunities for all Chicagoans in the clean energy economy, especially residents on the frontlines of the climate crisis.


In 2021-2022,  the Department of Assets, Information, and Services issued a Request for Information (RFI) ( click here for list of RFI responses ) and opened a process to hear public comments about the key concerns for the future electricity franchise. Based on the responses, the City determined that the most viable and affordable opportunity to deliver meaningful community and climate benefits was to renegotiate the City's electricity franchise with the current provider, ComEd. Some of the major themes from the submitted public input were the need for a shorter franchise term, stronger local accountability and oversight, greater data transparency, meaningful resiliency and relief investments, and a clear commitment to support the City’s climate goals. 

Some of the benefits to residents within the proposed Franchise Agreement and Energy and Equity Agreement are captured below. Further details can be found in this summary. 

  • Shorter term length- The new agreement proposes a term of 15 years with an option to extend for an additional 5 years, if mutually agreed upon by City and ComEd 
  • Retaining the right to municipalize- Any time after the first five years, the City may choose to acquire and operate the system 
  • Expanded funding- The City will collect an estimated $90-100m annual franchise fee, as it has through the state’s Electricity Infrastructure Maintenance Fee Law. Beyond these funds, the City secured  $100-120M of utility shareholder funds to advance local climate initiatives and projects (eg. retrofitting, weatherizing, and decarbonizing buildings; community solar and projects; bike & other micro-mobility projects; zero-emission transit and fleets; community health and pollution reduction) 
  • Prioritizing workforce development opportunities- Ensuring the Chicagoans can train, reskill, and find work in the growing, local clean energy economy is critical. A commitment to train more than 10,000 students through the expansion of existing and establishment of new programs will make sure Chicago communities are equipped for the clean energy future 


For more information, please use the links below: 

Prompts for Feedback on Chicago's Electricity Franchise



Energy and Equity Agreement Development

Governance and Transparency

  • Ethics Reforms
  • Inclusive Energy and Equity Agreement Governance Process
  • Traditional Ratemaking

Energy and Electrification

  • Climate and Energy Targets
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Solar/Distributed Generation Interconnection
  • Electric Vehicles and Electrification
  • Energy Data Transparency

Equity and Neighborhood Development

  • Eliminate Customer Deposits
  • Eliminate Late Fees and Disconnections
  • Align Credit and Collection Policies with Customer Ability to Pay
  • Facilitate use of LIHEAP Funds
  • Workforce Development Initiatives
  • Broadband Access

Franchise Agreement

  • Grant of Franchise/Service Obligation
  • Use/Coordination of the Public Right of Way and Public Property
  • Relocation
  • Reliability and Reporting
  • Municipal Acquisition
  • Term of the Agreement
  • Diversity

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