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Raking in profits, gunning for higher rates

DartsAmeren and ComEd both turned in strong third quarter profits, which begs the question: Why do these companies need bloated rate hikes? 

CUB today launched an email campaign to  oppose increases pushed by Ameren and ComEd.

Ameren is proposing a natural gas rate hike of about $50 million, which the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) is set to decide in December. State regulators also will rule on a $330 million ComEd rate hike due to hit electric bills on Jan. 1. (The ComEd request is the result of legislation passed in 2011–over CUB’s opposition and Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto–that allows the company to determine rates by formula.)

There’s no word yet on exactly how the ComEd increase would impact rates, but Ameren has said that its increase could make a typical customer pay up to $48 more per year.

As they fight for higher rates, both companies have reported significant third-quarter profits. Exelon, ComEd’s parent company, says its profits more than doubled over the third quarter of 2012, shooting up to $738 million (and more than $1.2 billion for the first nine months of the year).

Ameren’s parent company profits stayed about the same, at $305 million in the third quarter ($464 million for the first 9 months). However, earnings from its Illinois operations went up about 9 percent to $77 million.

And yet, the companies are asking for bloated rate hikes. Use CUB’s Action Network to fight the increases proposed by ComEd and Ameren.