ICC orders electric delivery rate cut for Ameren Ill. customers - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

ICC orders electric delivery rate cut for Ameren Ill. customers

CHICAGO (KFVS) -

The Illinois Commerce Commission's (ICC) decision to order a $48.1 million electric delivery rate cut is good news for Ameren Illinois customers.

According to the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), their experts are pleased with the first step in building a "Smart Grid" that benefits Illinois consumers is making sure they don't pay inflated rates.

While CUB does not agree with every aspect of the ruling, families in Ameren Illinois territory are expected to see a decrease in rates.

CUB Officials say Ameren's plan for upgrading the power grid was rejected by state regulators last year.  CUB says in a press release that they are urging the utility to improve the plan so that it delivers on its promise to reduce future electric bills and improve reliability.

Officials say Wednesday's decision is expected to result in a delivery rate decrease from October through December 2012. Under the law, new rates take effect every January.

Consumers are expected to see future increases according to the formula, which sets the utility's Return on Equity (ROE), or profit rate for shareholders.

According to CUB, the new January rates will be decided in yearly reconciliation cases in which CUB and other consumer advocates can analyze and challenge operating, capital, and maintenance expenditures.

In the reconciliation case for January 2013 rates, Ameren's calculation would result in an additional $16.1 million rate cut—partly because Ameren hasn't launched smart-grid improvements yet. A final order in that case is not expected until December.

Lawmakers voted to override Governor Quinn's veto of the bill in October 2011 known around the state capitol as "Smart Grid."

Both the House and Senate rejected Quinn's argument that the Legislation guarantees unfair profits to power companies at the expense of customers, and weakens state regulators.

The senate voted 36-19 to override.

Moments later, the house did the same on a 74-42 vote.

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