WIUM Local
6:48 pm
Tue September 15, 2009

Public Hearings on Ameren Rate Request

Springfield, IL – Ameren customers can give input on the utility's plan to raise prices for electricity and natural gas. Public hearings will be held in three towns this fall.

Ameren is seeking permission to bring in an extra $225 million by charging customers more for delivering gas and power.

Ameren spokesman Leigh Morris says the company has done what it can to save money. He says it has reduced its workforce and delayed projects.

But Morris says Ameren still needs to raise rates to recover its own increased costs.
"This includes everything from our customer service center to the energy efficient expert, who helps you reduce energy expenses. Routine maintenance. Just like your automobile, we have to maintain our system," says Morris.

Morris adds that in the past year numerous nasty storms tore through Illinois. He says those have taken a toll on the utility's systems.

When a utility in Illinois wants to increase rates, it has to win approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission. Before the ICC makes a decision on Ameren's proposal, it will hold a trio of public hearings this fall. Customers are invited to submit comments.

The ICC will host a forum on Ameren's rate case:

*on Tuesday, September 29th in Springfield
*on Monday, October 5th in Collinsville
*on Tuesday, October 27th in Pekin

Details on Ameren's Proposed Rate Increases

If the ICC approved Ameren's request in its entirety, households that use about 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year with:

*Ameren CIPS would pay about $59 more a year
*Ameren CILCO would pay approximately $63 more a year
*Ameren IP would pay about $97 more a year

Households that use about 785 therms of natural gas a year with:

*Ameren CIPS would see their bill increase about $60 a year
*Ameren IP would see their bill increase about $55 a year
*Ameren CILCO would see their bill increase about $38 a year

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio