The fight against a 30 percent increase in power prices is heating up, just as the hike takes hold in Central and Southern Illinois. Here are the latest developments:
5.974 cents per kWh (zone 1)
5.911 cents per kWh (zone 2)
5.966 cents per kWh (zone 3)
- First, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Public Citizen filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), asking for an investigation of the price spike. Then, over the weekend, the Illinois Senate passed Resolution 623 calling for a review by FERC, the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Illinois Power Agency.
FERC responded to the AG’s office and Public Citizen, inviting interested parties to comment on the issue by June 17. (Stay tuned for information on how to make comments to FERC.)
As CUB said in a news release today, the whole reason for the price spike is an increase in capacity costs—what consumers pay to ensure power plants are able to deliver electricity on the highest-demand days of the year. Every spring, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO)—the power grid operator in Central and Southern Illinois and 14 other states—holds an auction to determine capacity costs for the next year. In the latest auction, Illinois’ capacity cost turned out to be roughly 50 times higher than the other 14 states in MISO territory.
It is estimated that average Ameren customers on the company’s supply rates could pay more than $130 extra over the next year. Alternative electric supplier customers also could be affected. They will see higher prices in new offers.
CUB said the increases aren’t just and reasonable, given that Illinois has a surplus of electricity and power generators are expected to receive millions in extra revenue because of the new prices. Ameren isn’t a power generator, so it doesn’t profit off these supply rates. However, the Attorney General’s office said generator Dynegy’s dominance in the Central and Southern Illinois power market led to the price spike.