In one month, Ameren Illinois has filed for a $160.4 million gas rate hike and a four-year, $481 million electric increase, and they couldn’t have come at a worse time.
“This is awful news for Ameren customers who already were suffering under some of the highest electric and gas supply prices in Illinois history as well as earlier Ameren rate hikes,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said in a statement. “CUB will do a thorough review of Ameren’s rate cases, and we will challenge every penny Ameren can’t justify.”
These requests begin separate 11-month rate cases before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).
$481 million electric rate-hike request (filed Jan. 20)
Ameren has received more than $118 million ($57.6 million in January 2022 and $61 million in January 2023) over the last two Januarys, and now it’s back at the table asking the ICC for more. “We will review Ameren’s proposal carefully, but at first glance it is clear that the company is asking for an excessive 10.5 percent profit rate for its shareholders,” Kolata said. “Nobody disagrees that the power grid should be properly maintained, but that doesn’t mean Ameren deserves a blank check.”
$148 million gas rate-hike request (filed Jan. 6)
Ameren received a $76 million gas rate hike in January of 2021, and now it wants another big increase. “This is too much for customers,” Kolata said. “Natural gas is expensive, it hurts our health and it makes climate change worse. We need to begin to plan for the move away from natural gas to heating alternatives that are cheaper, cleaner, safer and more reliable.”
These increases would impact delivery rates, which take up about a third to a half of electric/gas bills. It’s what the utilities charge customers to cover the costs of delivering gas or electricity to homes—plus a profit.
“Electric and gas rate cases are often about the utility asking for an excessive profit rate for shareholders,” Kolata said. “CUB’s team will review these rate cases, challenge excessive profit rates, and work to reduce these rate hikes as much as possible.”
Visit CUBHelpCenter.com for more energy and gas efficiency tips to help lower your bill.