COLLINSVILLE, Ill., Dec. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- For the second consecutive year, Ameren Illinois residential customers will benefit from a decrease in their electric rates. Under Ameren Illinois' plan, which was approved today by the Illinois Commerce Commission, the typical residential customer will save approximately $1.70 per month on their electric bill beginning in January 2018.
"We made a commitment to our customers and state regulators to build a stronger and more reliable electric distribution system and keep rates stable," said Richard J. Mark, chairman and president, Ameren Illinois. "The plan approved today demonstrates that prudent cost management and solid project execution can help our customers save."
Today's announcement marks the second consecutive and fifth overall rate decrease since the landmark Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act – or Smart Grid Bill – was passed in 2011.
Ameren Illinois, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), is on pace to invest approximately $480 million in capital improvements in its electric grid this year for the benefit of its customers. And, Ameren Illinois' grid modernization initiatives over the last six years have resulted in an overall 17 percent increase in reliability and saved customers an estimated $45 million each year. Along with installing storm-resilient power poles and wires, automated switches, and enhanced outage detection technology, the company has installed 650,000 electric smart meters at customer premises and plans to deploy the two-way devices to all of its 1.2 million customers by the end of 2019. Smart meters provide Ameren Illinois customers with enhanced energy usage data and access to programs to help them save on their energy bills.
"The smart grid program is delivering real and tangible results for energy consumers in Illinois, including greater reliability, a smarter and more technologically-advanced electric grid and more options for controlling energy usage," said Mark. "By making prudent investments in the system, we are meeting the needs of our customers today while planning for the future."
To learn more about Ameren Illinois' electric and natural gas modernization programs, visit AmerenIllinois.com/focus, Facebook.com/AmerenIllinois, and Twitter @AmerenIllinois.
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers in Illinois. Our mission is to power the quality of life. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com, find us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois or Facebook.
Forward-looking Statements –
Statements in this release not based on historical facts are considered "forward-looking" and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such forward-looking statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. These statements include (without limitation) statements as to future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions, and financial performance. In connection with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we are providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The following factors, in addition to those discussed within Risk Factors in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, and elsewhere in this release and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations suggested in such forward-looking statements:
- regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions, including any changes in regulatory policies and ratemaking determinations, such as those that may result from the complaint case filed in February 2015 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking a reduction in the allowed base return on common equity under the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. tariff, Ameren Illinois' April 2017 annual electric distribution formula rate update filing, and future regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions that change regulatory recovery mechanisms;
- the effect of Ameren Illinois participating in a performance-based formula ratemaking process under the Illinois Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act, including the direct relationship between Ameren Illinois' return on common equity and 30-year United States Treasury bond yields, and the related financial commitments;
- the effects of changes in federal, state, or local laws and other governmental actions, including monetary, fiscal, and energy policies;
- the effects of changes in federal, state, or local tax laws, regulations, interpretations, or rates, such as the July 2017 change in Illinois law that increased the state's corporate income tax rate, or changes to federal tax laws as a result of tax reform legislation currently being developed by Congress, and any challenges to the tax positions taken by Ameren Illinois;
- our ability to align overall spending, both operating and capital, with frameworks established by our regulators and to recover these costs in a timely manner in our attempt to earn our allowed returns on equity;
- the cost and availability of purchased power, zero-emission credits, renewable energy credits, and natural gas for distribution; and the level and volatility of future market prices for such commodities, including our ability to recover the costs for such commodities and our customers' tolerance for the related rate increases;
- business and economic conditions, including their impact on interest rates, collection of our receivable balances, and demand for our products;
- the construction, installation, performance, and cost recovery of generation, transmission, and distribution assets;
- the effects of breakdowns or failures of equipment in the operation of natural gas transmission and distribution systems and storage facilities, such as leaks, explosions, and mechanical problems, and compliance with natural gas safety regulations;
- legal and administrative proceedings;
- the impact of cyber-attacks, which could, among other things, result in the loss of operational control of energy centers and electric and natural gas transmission and distribution systems and/or the loss of data, such as customer, employee, financial, and operating system information; and
- acts of sabotage, war, terrorism, or other intentionally disruptive acts.
New factors emerge from time to time. Management cannot predict all such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any such factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained or implied in any forward-looking statement. Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information or future events.
SOURCE Ameren Illinois