Rate increase is coming for Ameren gas customers

News-DemocratDecember 18, 2013 

Ameren Illinois natural gas customers can expect an increase in their bills next month.

On Wednesday, the Illinois Commerce commission approved a natural gas delivery rate increase for Ameren Illinois customers, the second increase in less than two years. Delivery service rates were last increased on Jan. 20, 2012.

The company asked for the latest increase on Jan. 27, and, after months of financial review and hearings by the commission, the rate change was approved by the commission. The amount approved is less than what Ameren initially requested. Ameren cannot change its rates without approval from the Commission.

Ameren initially asked for a rate increase that would generate $50 million in revenue. Instead, the Commission approved an increase to generate about $32 million in new annual revenue, which is a 10.02 percent increase in revenue. Ameren has indicated the increase in revenue is needed to recover infrastructure investments and increased costs of delivering natural gas to about 813,000 homes and businesses in downstate Illinois.

Ameren does not yet know how much of an average monthly increase natural gas customers will see on their bills in January.

"We have not yet received a copy of a final order, and when we do, we need to analyze the numbers," said Ameren Illinois spokeswoman Stacey Shangraw. "As soon as we receive that final order and analyze it, and those orders are hundreds of pages, we can determine how it will impact our customers then file that with the ICC."

Contact reporter Jennifer A. Schaaf at jschaaf@bnd.com or 618-239-2667.

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