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Déjà vu: Rate-hike edition

Click here to read CUB's statement on Ameren's $53 million natural gas rate-hike request.

Click here to read CUB’s statement on Ameren’s $53 million natural gas rate-hike request.

Ameren’s had $90 million in rate hikes since 2008, and now it wants more.

In late January, Ameren Illinois filed for a $53 million natural gas rate hike, including  a return on equity (profit rate for shareholders) of more than 10 percent.  This is the same Ameren whose parent company earned more than $500 million in profits in just the first three quarters of 2014.

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) will rule on the Ameren  request after an 11-month case in which consumer advocates can carefully examine and challenge the company’s arguments.  Over that period, CUB’s legal team plans to pore over the rate-hike proposal and challenge every penny that is unnecessary.

The proposed rate hike would affect the “delivery” portion of your gas bill.  That’s what the company charges to have gas delivered to your home.  It takes up roughly one-third to one-half of the bill.  The price of the actual gas takes up the rest.  While heating bills vary based on how much gas you use, Ameren says typical customers (those who use about 745 therms of gas a year) will see bills rise by $3 to $6 a month.  New rates would go into effect around January 2016.

Stay tuned to CUB’s Watchblog for more information on this important issue.