CUB Statement on Ameren Rate Case Decision

Contact:
Jim Chilsen, chilsen@citizensutilityboard.org, (312) 513-1784

CHICAGO, December 6, 2016— We are pleased to hear that Ameren electric bills are going down by $14.5 million. However, throughout this case CUB has argued that Illinois consumers deserve a $21 million decrease. We plan to file a petition for rehearing to fight for a bigger Ameren rate cut.

Background:

*By a vote of 4-1 on Dec. 6, 2016, the ICC approved a $14.5 million Ameren electric rate decrease. The 1.41 percent cut took effect Jan. 1. Ameren’s original request was a $14.4 million decrease, filed in April.  Commission Miguel del Valle voted no, arguing that the ICC did not consider all of the issues that could have further reduced Ameren’s rates.

*CUB has filed a petition for rehearing because it believes Ameren owes its customers a total rate cut of $22 million. The watchdog argues that a past sale of a generation business should have reduced Ameren’s administrative costs, and thus, reduce the utility’s rates even more

*The decrease affects delivery charges—what all customers pay to have the electricity delivered to their homes. Those charges take up about a third to a half of the bill

*The new rates were set according to the state’s 2011 “Energy Infrastructure and Modernization Act,” or the “smart-grid bill.” That law uses a formula to determine Ameren rates annually for the next several years to pay for about $625 million in system upgrades.
*Illinois’ new way of setting electric rates limits how much consumer advocates and regulators can protect customers from rate increases, but each year CUB works to secure the lowest rates possible by reviewing Ameren’s spending, and protesting unjustified capital and operational expenditures. The consumer watchdog also is pushing the utility to live up to its promise to build a more affordable power grid that reduces inefficiency, improves reliability and gives customers the chance to save money by making their homes more efficient and taking part in money-saving electricity programs.

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.