Ameren to ask for rate hikes in Illinois and Missouri

By Carly O'Keefe

SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - Ameren Corp. plans to seek another rate increase in both Missouri and Illinois, citing rising operating and financing costs.

"We have not yet come up with an amount," said Ameren Illinois Spokesman Leigh Morris. "And no we don't have a date certain we are going to file, but I would anticipate we'll have a rate case in place no later than third quarter of this year."
The mention comes on the heels of another rate increase in Illinois.  Illinois Representative John Bradley of Marion says he'll fight any proposed hikes in a time when most folks are already having a tough time paying their bills.
"People are suffering, and the idea that they're gonna try and get more money out of people who can least afford it makes me furious," Bradley said.
Morris says the company is already trying to do more with less, but major catastrophic events like Winter Storm ‘09 have hurt the bottom line.
"We don't receive disaster assistance from the government, we do not receive insurance money for damages," Morris said. "When the damage is greater than you anticipate it drives up the cost."
Still Bradley vows to fight any request filed by Ameren for an increase in fees.
"They have no credibility with the people of southern Illinois," Bradley said. "Based on the fact that they needed money for infrastructure before and as soon as they got it they went around talking about how their stock went up and their bond rating improved. It's another example of corporate greed. It's a Missouri company that's coming into Illinois and taking advantage of the people of southern Illinois."