Illinois Commerce Commission cuts in half Ameren’s natural gas rate hike request

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 4:33 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(WMBD Radio) - Ameren won’t be getting the natural gate rate hike it wanted.

The Illinois Commerce Commission says it denied Ameren a $71.6 million increase in natural gas delivery services, and is instead allowing for a $36.34 million hike.

The commission says it did so after looking at Ameren’s rate case filings, and other materials.

“The decision initiates a two-step future of gas proceeding that includes a detailed action plan for the utility’s future infrastructure investments to evaluate the impacts of Illinois’ decarbonization and electrification goals on the natural gas system,” said a commission news release.

The ICC decision also allows for what they call a new low-income discount rate for eligible customers, many of whom are already enrolled in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.

“As the State embarks on a journey toward a 100 percent clean energy economy, the gas system’s operations will not continue to exist in its current form. Identifying how our gas and electric systems can adapt to meet these goals, and what specific actions should be taken to achieve them, will be an important task for the Commission moving forward,” said Doug Scott, Chairman, ICC, in a news release.

The rate hike that was allowed allows for about 9.5 percent return on equity, versus 10.3 percent ROE in the original request.

“We will fully review the ICC order to assess the impact on our operations and the investments we need to make to ensure safe and reliable natural gas service,” said Tucker Kennedy, spokesperson, Ameren Illinois, in a statement. “Regarding the cost impact, what matters most to our customers is their total monthly bill amount. Because natural gas supply prices have declined significantly, most residential customers can expect their monthly bills to be about $20 lower this winter heating season when compared to last year, even after factoring in new delivery rates.”