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Public forum planned on Ameren Illinois’ proposed $1.3 billion rate hike

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(The Center Square) – The Citizens Utility Board is asking consumers to make their voices heard to the Illinois Commerce Commission on Ameren Illinois’ $1.3 billion, four-year electric rate-hike request.

CUB said that proposed increase plus five other gas or electric rate hike requests by utility companies this year total a record $3.7 billion.

“Of course, Ameren has to maintain its system, but the utility doesn’t deserve a blank check and we’re doing everything we can to reduce this proposed increase,” said CUB Executive Director Sarah Moskowitz.

According to CUB, the cost increases proposed by Ameren would add up to about $12 more per month initially and, by 2027, about $31 more per month on an average residential bill.

Ameren has said the rate hike is needed for the company’s clean energy transition.

“We support the clean energy transition. As required by law, we filed a multi-year grid plan to continue to provide safe, reliable and resilient energy delivery systems for our customers. The plan facilitates the adoption and development of local, clean energy generation, promotes the long-term growth of cleaner energy, and operates the infrastructure that will support electrification of the downstate Illinois economy,” Ameren said in a statement.

The ICC will hold a public forum on the request at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 19 at the Decatur Civic Center.

Jim Chilsen, communications director for CUB, said it is a chance for Illinoisans to express their opinions to the ICC.

“This is democracy in action,” Chilsen told The Center Square. “We want people to have their voices be heard and this is a chance to let the Illinois Commerce Commission know how you feel about Ameren’s four-year, $1.3 billion dollar rate hike.”

Chilsen reminds people they can also provide input on the Illinois Commerce Commission website.

CUB plans to support more than $500 million in reductions to the proposed increase, working with other parties in the case, including the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

Ameren’s request follows a $1.5 billion rate increase that ComEd is asking state regulators to approve.

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