Rate hike on the way for Ameren customers in southern Illinois

If you use Ameren Illinois for your electricity and gas, you may be getting a lump of coal in your stocking this holiday season.

The Illinois Commerce Commission recently approved nearly $150 million in rate increases.

That means between a $2 and $6 increase in natural gas on your monthly bill and a $2 and $7 increase in power.

"Everybody pays these higher delivery charges, whether you’re with an alternative supplier or not," said Jim Chilsen of the Citizens Utility Board. "Everybody pays an Ameren bill, because Ameren always delivers the power to your home, so everybody will pay higher delivery charges."

For the second time in a year, Ameren Illinois customers will see an increase on their bill, and Chilsen says despite the small figure it’s too much.
"We believe the company got much more than it actually needed to maintain it’s system and stay healthy," said Chilsen.

The reason behind the rate hikes is to provide funding for power grid upgrades.

"If done right, these high tech upgrades to the power grid should pay for themselves in consumer benefits in the long run," said Chilsen. "The question now is, is Ameren going to live up to its promise?"

Chilsen says the Ameren rate increase should be noticeable on your January bill. 

The Citizens Utility Board plans to file a petition of reassessment with the Illinois Commerce Commission so that they will take a second look at the hike and possibly even do away with it.

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