Citizens Utility Board seeks public comment on power price hike - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Citizens Utility Board seeks public comment on power price hike

Chart showing price comparison between Zone 4 and other areas. Source: Complaint filed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan Chart showing price comparison between Zone 4 and other areas. Source: Complaint filed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan
MARION, IL (KFVS) - An Illinois utility watchdog group is working to educate electric customers who may be shocked by their power bills next month.

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB), a nonprofit utility watchdog group, will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Williamson County Regional Airport Wednesday regarding a complaint into a spike in electricity charges in southern and central Illinois.

Starting June 1, power customers in southern and central Illinois could see 12 to 35 percent increases in power costs.

The spike stems from a controversial energy auction that set so-called capacity costs for Zone 4 of Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO)'s supply area.

According to a complaint filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan against MISO - consumers in Zone 4 who purchase electricity supply through Ameren will pay $112.98 million in capacity charges in the coming year due to the high capacity charges resulting from the auction. The cost is $102.1 million more than was paid in the last capacity year.

The attorney general's complaint estimates than an average Ameren residential customer will pay $131

More due to the spike in capacity charges over the next year starting June 1, 2015.

In the auction, Illinois' capacity cost turned out to be more than 40 times higher than the other 14 states. CUB Executive Director David Kolata called the results of the auction “absurd,” saying Illinois has plenty of electricity.

The CUB says power generators stand to receive a windfall because of the new prices, but because Ameren the utility isn't a power generator it will not profit from the spike in supply rates.

The CUB is working to collect letters from concerned customers to file along with the complaint for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's review.

The deadline for public comment is July 2. You can submit a letter online through the Citizens Utility Board website.


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