CHICAGO, Feb. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "The ink is barely dry on Ameren's last rate hike, approved in November, and now the company wants to reach into our pockets once again. Ameren today filed for a $111 million increase-$51 million for natural gas, $60 million for electric. That's despite the fact that Ameren's Illinois profits have risen steadily, including a 40 percent increase in third-quarter 2010 earnings.
The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) is now fighting $1 billion in higher utility rates, we face legislation in Springfield that threatens higher electric and gas bills, and now we have to contend with another rate-hike request from Ameren, the company that has received more than $200 million in increases since 2008.
Last time, CUB and consumer advocates helped knock down Ameren's original rate-hike request by 80 percent, and once again we will examine every detail of Ameren's new filing and we will challenge every cent the company can't justify."
CUB is Illinois' leading nonprofit utility watchdog organization. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 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 over the years. For more information, call CUB's Consumer Hotline at 1-800-669-5556 or visit CUB's award-winning website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.
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. The ICC would rule on the case in 2012.
- These "delivery" rate hikes would increase what Ameren charges to deliver gas and electricity 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 or electricity.
- Ameren estimates that its proposal would mean a typical residential customer (using 10,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 785 therms of gas per year) would pay from $2.96 to $3.78 more for electricity and from $1.88 to $4.53 more for natural gas each month. The increase would hit customers with up to $54 a year in extra gas costs and up to $45 a year in extra electric costs.
SOURCE Citizens Utility Board