This week our legal team received some good news: An Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) judge has recommended that the full ICC reject Ameren Illinois’ proposal to increase its customer charge by 9 percent. (Read CUB’s statement on the development.)
Last August, the company had made the proposal, but CUB, Environmental Defense Fund, and Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office have fought it, arguing that it’s an attack on energy efficiency.
Ameren isn’t proposing a rate hike, but a change in rate design. That means the company wouldn’t make more money—it just would change the way it allocates certain delivery costs on your bill. So while some delivery charges would go down, Ameren would increase the fixed monthly customer charge.
But here’s why that’s an attack on energy efficiency: Utility companies love to jack up fixed charges—because there’s nothing we can do about it. You can live in the world’s most energy efficient home and you’ll still fork over the same customer charge each month.
The good news is just this week, an ICC Administrative Law Judge recommended rejecting Ameren’s plan. The ICC is expected to make a final ruling in March–so we’re almost to the finish line. Please,urging it to once and for all reject Ameren’s attack on efficiency.