Customers of Ameren Illinois Company, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), will pay less for electric service delivery under a plan it will file with the Illinois Commerce Commission on or about April 15, 2016. The company is expected to request an approximately $14 million decrease in delivery service rates for 2017.
It will be the fourth such rate decrease in the years since the landmark Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA) was passed in 2011, enabling Ameren Illinois to accelerate its efforts to modernize the grid and provide consumers more efficient, reliable energy delivery.
In addition, Ameren Illinois gas customers will be saving on the supply portion of their utility bill beginning in April. A nearly four-cent drop in the per-therm cost of natural gas is expected to save most customers $28 annually or $2.35 a month. Ameren Illinois’ gas supply charges are at their lowest levels since February of 2002.
“We made a long-term commitment to our customers to strengthen the power grid and deliver cost-saving enhancements and it’s working,” said Craig Nelson, senior vice president, Regulatory Affairs and Financial Services for Ameren Illinois. “When combined with expected lower electric supply costs, our customers will continue to see stable prices for an advanced energy delivery system.”
Under EIMA, Ameren Illinois has been aggressively installing storm-resilient utility poles, automated switches, and enhanced technology. This automation allows Ameren Illinois to restore power 18 percent faster on average. These reliability improvements are saving customers an estimated $47 million each year.
“The smart grid legislation is working exactly as designed,” said Nelson. “It’s giving us the regulatory certainty to make much-needed enhancements to an aging energy infrastructure, while providing customers with more reliable service. We’re pleased to report that we’re not only building a stronger grid, but we’re also keeping electric rates well below the national average.”
The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) will have eight months to fully review and make a determination on Ameren Illinois’ rate reduction request. If approved, the new lower electric delivery service rates would go into effect beginning in January of 2017.