Metro-East News

You could soon save money on electricity and natural gas. Here’s why.

Ameren Illinois wants to lower its electricity and natural gas rates to pass on savings to customers from the federal tax cut adopted in December.
Ameren Illinois wants to lower its electricity and natural gas rates to pass on savings to customers from the federal tax cut adopted in December. BND

Ameren Illinois electric customers could save an average of $2.50 to $3 per month in 2018 and natural gas customers could save an average of $1 per month under proposed plans filed by the utility.

The Illinois Commerce Commission is considering the plans, which were presented by Ameren after the federal tax cut was adopted late last year.

Ameren has asked the ICC to be allowed to adjust its rates so it could pass the savings back to customers, the utility said.

“Under the new tax plan, Ameren Illinois’ effective tax rate will decrease by nearly 13 percent,” said Richard Mark, chairman and president of Ameren Illinois. “The plan we have filed with the ICC gives us the ability to expedite the return of these savings to our customers.”

The 2011 Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act, which allowed utilities to update the energy grid, allows utilities to return savings to electric customers. However without filing the petition, customers would have to wait until 2020 to receive the benefits, Ameren said. If approved by the ICC, Ameren Illinois customers would begin seeing these savings in March.

Ameren filed its electric rate proposal Tuesday, and its natural gas rate proposal last week.

“We have been in contact with the ICC since Congress passed the federal tax plan in December to get these savings returned to our customers as soon as possible,” Mark said.

Savings would be in addition to the electric rate decrease approved by the ICC in December of last year. Typical residential customers are set save about $1.70 per month on their electric bills in 2018 as a result of last month’s ICC ruling.

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