ILGA Committees Meeting Over Energy Rate Increases; Possibility of Blackouts This Summer

By Benjamin Cox on May 31, 2022 at 2:37pm

Illinois House members met jointly with Public Utilities officials yesterday to discuss and hear testimony on anticipated electricity rate increases for Ameren-Illinois customers beginning next month.

Ameren-Illinois alerted customers in email and via the postal mail on Wednesday that global market pressures, inflation, and the closure of coal-fired electricity generation facilities are causing increasing power supply costs.

In the email, Ameren says the average residential customer is expected to see an increase of approximately $52 per month on the supply portion of their energy bill. The actual impact will depend on the amount of energy used.

Ameren emphasized in the email that it does not control supply prices and does not generate revenue on energy supply.

State Representative Tim Butler of Springfield says more hearings need to occur and he wants to hear what Governor J.B. Pritzker is doing about the issue: “I know we have talked about maybe having more of these hearings throughout the summer. I would encourage the Governor’s Office to testify at these, as well, given the fact the governor is staking much of his legacy on the energy legislation that has been passed under his watch. I would really like to hear from the Governor’s Office on some of these issues.”

Butler and the Illinois House Energy/Environment and Public Utilities Committees are working to discuss options to protect customers from bearing the brunt of some of the changes in the energy sector and ongoing fluctuations in the supply market.

Early this Spring, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO signaled to the possibility of rolling blackouts because of a shortage of electrical generation by about five gigawatts, with the shortfall growing even greater next year.