Citizens Utility Board wants feds to order Ameren refund

By Gary Scott on January 19, 2016 at 12:43pm

A utility watchdog group is encouraging West Central Illinoisans to sign an online petition asking federal regulators to order refunds for customers of Ameren Illinois.

The Citizens Utility Board is basing its request on a revision order last month by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reform an electricity auction that led to a 30 percent price spike in Ameren supply price for central and southern Illinois customers, that went into effect June 1st.

There are two parts to electric bills, delivery and supply. CUB spokesman Jim Chilsen explains this refund involves the supply part of the bill.

“Ameren Illinois does not profit off the supply part of your bill, so their actions are not in question in this whole issue. But, big power generators like Dynegy and Exelon do profit off the supply portions, and they made major profits because of last year’s auction,” says Chilsen.

“Fourteen other states participate in this auction, and none of the other states saw this type of increase. In fact, Illinois’ prices were about 40 times higher than any other state that took part in the auction. We don’t think that that increase was just or reasonable. We think Ameren customers who paid these higher power prices deserve a refund,” he continues.

Chilsen notes Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the Citizens’ Utility board and thousands of concerned CUB Action Network members urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to investigate and reform the market.

“They came out with a ruling on New Year’s Eve that said they believe that some of the auction rules were not just and were not reasonable, and they ordered a change to those auction rules, and that was a victory. That was a step forward. But, now we want the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take another step and order refunds,” says Chilsen.

“We hope that FERC hears Central and Southern Illinois consumers loud and clear.”

Rates would not apply to customers who are a part of an electric aggregation program.

If a refund is ordered, it would be retroactively effective to May 28th, 2015. To sign the petition, you can go online at