Ameren raising natural gas delivery rates, cutting electric delivery rates

News-DemocratDecember 28, 2013 

Ameren customers will notice a slightly higher cost for natural gas and slightly lower price for electric rates by next month.

The Illinois Commerce Commission approved a natural gas delivery rate increase and a decrease in electricity delivery for the utility's customers, which includes most of Southern and Central Illinois.

Ameren Illinois spokeswoman Marcelyn Love said for most in the metro-east, the cost of natural gas will increase by an estimated $1.46 to $1.81 a month for the average customer. Love also said electricity delivery will drop by an estimated $2 a month for the average metro-east customer.

"The winter monthly bills are greater than bills at other times of the year because of natural gas usage," Love said. "When referring to that average bill, the actual bill is likely to be higher than average for the winter months then low for the average summer months."

The natural gas delivery cost that was approved is less than what Ameren initially requested. Ameren initially asked for a rate increase that would generate $50 million in revenue. On Dec. 18, the Illinois Commerce Commission approved an increase to generate about $32 million in new annual revenue, which is a 10.02 percent increase in revenue. Ameren 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.

On Dec. 9, the Commission ordered Ameren Illinois to reduce its electric delivery rate by $45 million beginning Jan. 1. The utility had anticipated the delivery rate cut and had first proposed a $30 million reduction, which was later revised to a $37 million cut. The company is expected to request new electricity delivery rates for 2015 by the spring.

Contact reporter Will Buss at wbuss@bnd.com or 239-2526.

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