Statement By CUB Executive Director David Kolata On The $50 Million Ameren Natural Gas Rate-Hike Request

Jan 28, 2013, 12:11 ET from Citizens Utility Board

CHICAGO, Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Illinois consumers facing a colder winter and the prospect of higher heating bills have gotten another blast of bad news: Ameren has filed for a $50 million natural gas rate hike. It was just a year ago that Ameren received $32 million in gas rate hikes, and now the company is back for more. Illinois consumers must feel nickeled and dimed to death. Since 2008, Ameren, whose parent company made $323 million in third-quarter profits, has increased gas rates by more than $57 million. CUB's legal team will pore over every detail of Ameren's rate-hike filing and over the next 11 months we will challenge every penny the company cannot justify.   

Background on the Ameren Rate-hike Request:

-The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) will rule on the Ameren request after an 11-month case in which consumer advocates can carefully examine and challenge the company's arguments.

-These "delivery" rate hikes would increase what Ameren charges to deliver gas to homes. Those charges take up about a third of a bill. The other two-thirds, roughly, is taken up by the price of the actual gas.

-Ameren estimates that its proposal would mean a typical residential customer, using 785 therms of natural gas a year, would pay this amount extra per month: Zone 1 (formerly AmerenCIPS): $2.52; Zone 2 (formerly AmerenCILCO): $4;  Zone 3 (formerly AmerenIP): $2.87.

CUB is Illinois' leading nonprofit utility watchdog organization. It was created by the Illinois legislature in 1983 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, CUB has saved consumers more than $10 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds. For more information, call CUB's Consumer Hotline at 1-800-669-5556.                                          

SOURCE Citizens Utility Board