Several electricity rate adjustments, one on the supply side and one on the delivery side, are expected to take place in the next several months for ratepayers including one that is expected to save Ameren Illinois customers about $8 a month.
The Midwest Independent System Operator, which runs the electricity grid in all or parts of 15 states, including southern and central Illinois, recently concluded its annual resource adequacy auction it uses to make sure there is enough electricity for peak usage, such as the summer's hottest days.
"This year’s auction results reflect an adequate availability of resources for the planning window and the grid's capability to effectively and efficiently transfer resources among local resource zones," MISO Executive Director of Market Operations Shawn McFarlane said.
Ameren Illinois said customers who receive their supply through the utility should see rates decline by $8 a month starting in June for the customer using 10,000 kWh per year.
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Ameren Illinois spokeswoman Marcelyn Love credited the price decrease to the Illinois Power Agency's hedging strategy.
In addition to the resource auction, Ameren Illinois recently filed its annual electricity delivery rate request with the Illinois Commerce Commission.
After a review by the ICC, the new delivery rates are scheduled to be applied to bills in January. The annual rate request is part of the requirements under the smart grid legislation adopted in 2011.
"The modernization plan we filed with the commission will enable us to continue to meet the energy delivery needs of our customers, expand capacity for Illinois' future economic growth, and support hundreds of jobs in central and Southern Illinois, while overall customer bills remain relatively stable," Love said.
Love said in 2010 the typical customer paid $94.49 a month for electricity. If the ICC adopts the Ameren rate request, the typical customer will pay $93.42 per month in 2019.
"Further, beginning in 2019, the average customer taking supply from Ameren Illinois will pay on average $3.50 per month less than today's rates," Love said.
The Citizens Utility Board said it plans to carefully look at Ameren's proposed rates.
"Ameren Illinois has asked the Illinois Commerce Commission for an electric delivery rate increase of $71.75 million," said CUB Executive Director David Kolata. "This is on top of the company’s $46.6 million natural gas increase proposed earlier this year, so Ameren customers could get hit with a double whammy of gas and electric hikes in 2019. CUB’s legal team will carefully analyze Ameren’s electric rate-hike request and we will fight any excessive spending that we uncover, as we challenge Ameren to live up to its promise of building a more efficient and more affordable power grid."