Ameren-Illinois Asking For Rate Hikes From ICC, CUB to Challenge

By Benjamin Cox on February 2, 2023 at 6:12am

Ameren-Illinois has filed paperwork with the Illinois Commerce Commission seeking a rate adjustment that would cause the average household to see an increase in their utility bills.

WBGZ reports that the average household would see an increase by about $6 a month on the electric side and see a slight increase in natural gas. The increased costs are based on what WBGZ says the average user rates of 10,000 kilowatt hours, while the natural gas estimate of $6.68 per month is based on average monthly usage of around 745 therms.

Specifically, the utility is asking for about a $160 million increase on the natural gas side and about $435.6 million increase over the next four years on the electric side.

Ameren-Illinois’ spokesperson Tucker Kennedy told WBGZ that it amounts to on-boarding clean energy projects: “On the electric side, it’s really about preparing that grid for the transition to clean energy. The gas side is about complying with federal requirements and just making sure we have the most efficient and cost-reliable energy delivery system that we can have.”

Illinois utility watchdog, the Citizen’s Utility Board says they are leery of the increase request to the Illinois Commerce Commission.

CUB Spokesperson Jim Chilsen told WBGZ that the watchdog group is going to scrutinize Ameren’s bottom line for the request: “What we are really concerned about when Ameren asks for these big rate hikes is if the company is asking for an excessive profit rate for shareholders. That’s what these cases come down to. Over the next 11 months, we are going to challenge every penny that the company can’t justify. We are going to do our best to reduce these rate hikes as much as possible, and we are going to do our best to expose any attempt by Ameren to ask for an excessive profit rate for shareholders.”

The Illinois Commerce Commission will hold hearings and take comments over the next eight months before rendering a decision on the rate increase request. If approved, new rates would take effect early next year.