AARP Strongly Urges ICC To Reject New Ameren Rate Hike Request

Jan 28, 2013, 13:06 ET from AARP Illinois

$50 million rate hike would hurt thousands of seniors, low-income families and jobless residents in Central and Southern Illinois

CHICAGO, Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Statement from AARP Illinois State Director Bob Gallo:

"Barely a year after receiving a hefty rate increase, Ameren is once again trying to burden consumers with a new natural gas rate hike request that will significantly hurt low-income families who live paycheck to paycheck, individuals who have lost their jobs, and older residents living on fixed incomes, all of whom rely on utilities for their well-being and health.

The Illinois Commerce Commission needs to take into account the impact this unwarranted rate increase request will have on thousands of cash-strapped residents in Central and Southern Illinois, and side with them instead of with corporate interests. AARP on behalf of our 1.7 million Illinois members strongly opposes this request and urges the ICC to stand on the side of consumers and reject it in its entirety.

It may not be a coincidence that Ameren's $50 million rate hike request comes in the heels of the company's last quarter financial report showing a sharp decline in earnings. Asking consumers to bail out a corporation through higher delivery rates is unacceptable.

This new request is also a reminder of the dire impact on the consumer of the rate hike law – pushed by Ameren and ComEd through the Legislature and over the Governor's veto – and of the utilities ongoing attempts to hurt consumers in order to fund infrastructure or recoup financial losses.

We urge consumers to contact the ICC to oppose Ameren's filing. The ICC can be reached at 1-800-524-0795."