By The Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - Ameren Illinois says it may have to implement a hiring freeze and other cost-cutting measures after the Illinois Commerce Commission this week approved a much smaller rate increase than the utility wanted.
Ameren Illinois President Scott Cisel raised that prospect in a letter to employees. In it, he calls approval of a $4.75 million increase over the company's call for a $162 million increase "unprecedented."
Cisel also says Ameren will ask for a rehearing on the issue.
The commission has said it wanted to hold down costs for families and businesses while still allowing for reliable service. Consumer advocacy groups praised its decision.
Ameren Illinois has around 1 million electricity and 800,000 gas customers in central and southern Illinois.