Ameren Illinois Files Electric Rate Increase with Illinois Commerce Commission, which, if approved, will take effect in 2022
COLLINSVILLE, IL (STL.News) Ameren Illinois has filed to adjust to its electric delivery service rates for next year. If approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), new rates will take effect in 2022.
Under Illinois’ performance-based rate-making process, utilities are required to file an annual plan outlining investments that will be undertaken to upgrade the electric energy infrastructure, maintain reliability and improve services to customers and local communities. The filing includes thousands of pages of documentation and financial disclosure statements justifying the proposed improvements and will be subject to a rigorous, eight-month review by the ICC.
Ameren Illinois customers have seen several rate decreases in recent years. Yesterday’s filing is only the second requested increase in delivery service rates in six years. If approved by the ICC, the adjustment would add about $2.75 per month to the delivery portion of residential customer bills next year. Factoring in this adjustment, Ameren Illinois electric rates are 21% lower than the national average, and customers are paying less for energy service than they were five years ago.
“Our customers consistently tell us that they want reliable and affordable energy,” said Richard J. Mark, Chairman, and President, Ameren Illinois. “This plan will enable us to continue making prudent investments to strengthen the electric grid, reduce outages, and keep rates stable.”
Major investments planned for 2022 include:
- Installation of outage avoidance/detection technology.
- Integration of storm-hardening equipment and other updates to the electric grid (stronger wires and poles and new substations).
- Adoption of clean energy technologies, including transitioning portions of the Ameren Illinois fleet to electric vehicles to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
- Implementing new efficiency measures, including mobile-enhanced communications and assessment capabilities for electric field workers.
Since the company began implementing its modernization action plan, power poles and wires have been strengthened, and more delivery infrastructure is being placed underground. These improvements, along with outage detection technology, have resulted in improvements in system reliability and millions of dollars in savings for customers.
Mark noted the importance of grid resiliency in withstanding severe Midwest storms and ensuring that energy is available during extreme temperatures. The value of the company’s stable energy delivery system was evident in February during a stretch of sub-zero temperatures that stressed the electric grid in parts of the United States. Despite the weather challenges, Ameren Illinois did not experience significant reliability issues.
The proposed clean energy investments in the 2022 plan will enable Ameren Illinois to continue preparing the energy grid to accommodate increases in renewable energy development and help the state transition to its goal of 100% clean energy by 2050. Ameren Illinois has announced support for the Downstate Clean Energy Affordability Act (DCEAA, HB 1734/SB 311), a bill that aims to increase production of lower-cost solar energy and create vital economic opportunities and good-paying jobs in Central and Southern Illinois. The package will ensure that renewable energy is produced at the lowest possible cost to downstate Illinois utility customers.
The ICC will conduct an open and transparent eight-month regulatory review of the rate adjustment request. A decision by the ICC is expected in December, with new rates effective in early 2022.