Metro-East News

Portion of your electric bill to go down next year

Ameren Illinois customers are set to receive a slight decrease on the distribution side of their monthly electricity bills in 2017.

The Illinois Commerce Commission this week lowered the electricity distribution rates for Ameren Illinois customers.

The ICC said new rates are expected to generate approximately $14.488 million less in annual revenue for the company compared to the 2016 rates. Ameren originally proposed a decrease in annual revenues of $14.371 million, but the Commission made adjustments to the company’s advertising expenses and working capital.

The revenue reduction for Ameren Illinois will mean a savings of $1.37 per month for the typical residential customer using 10,000 kWh of electricity per year, Ameren spokeswoman Marcelyn Love said in an email to the BND.

“This is great news for Ameren Illinois customers. Our rates are already less than the national average,” Love wrote. “The ICC decision ... means our customers will get the benefits of a more advanced energy delivery system at rates lower than what they’re currently paying. It also reaffirms that our plan to modernize the electric grid and improve reliability is being implemented responsibly and in a cost effective manner.”

Overall, Ameren, which has 1.2 million electric customers in Illinois, asked for a little more than a $1 billion for its service delivery charges, which helps pay for the transmission lines and systems used to distribute power.

ICC commissioners reviewed Ameren Illinois’ expenditures on capital projects completed in 2016.

Under the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act, electric distribution rates for companies such as Ameren Illinois and ComEd are set annually. The law has a prescribed “formula rate procedure for Ameren Illinois to recover actual, prudently incurred costs for delivery of electricity to customers,” the ICC said.

The rates were finalized by the ICC after an eight-month review. The ICC also looked at how much revenue the company needed in 2015, and a projection of how much revenue Ameren needs for the company’s 2016 planned plant additions, the commission said.

“The net effect of both components will be reflected in the lower rates to be charged in 2017,” the ICC said.

The distribution charges for electricity are separate from the supply charges on an electricity bill. Ameren passes along electricity supply costs to customers without any mark up.

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter