WIUM Local
6:40 pm
Fri April 30, 2010

Ameren To Appeal ICC Decision, Make Immediate Cuts

Springfield, IL – Ameren Illinois will appeal a state commission's ruling that the company must keep its prices down. The ruling means beginning in early May, natural gas customers will see rates reduced, and electric delivery rates will increase on average by 8-and-a-half percent or less ... far less than Ameren had hoped to charge.

The Illinois Commerce Commission will allow Ameren to charge customers an extra $4.75 million dollars a year.

In a letter to employees ... Ameren President and CEO Scott Chisel called that "a shockingly small fraction." Ameren had wanted to increase its delivery rates for electricity and natural gas by 162 million dollars a year.

Ameren spokesman Leigh Morris says in light of the ruling ... Ameren is taking immediate steps:

"Some of those steps are to reduce budgets further ... to institute a hiring freeze ... we will be delaying or cancelling certain projects and planned activities," says Morris.

Morris says customers may notice it'll take longer for Ameren to fix an outage, or to get a new service installed.

According to Cisel's internal memo ... Ameren will ask the commission for a rehearing.

Consumer advocacy groups are hailing the commission's decision. They say Ameren's request was bloated.

The ICC ruling means Ameren's natural gas customers will see rates decrease ... and electric delivery rates will increase between 1 percent and 8.5 percent.

Illinois Public Radio provided this report