Madigan calls on regulators to reject Ameren rate increase

Chris Rizo Sep. 24, 2008, 12:03am

Lisa Madigan (D)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline)-Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is again calling on state regulators to reject Ameren Illinois' request for a $208-million rate increase.

The St. Louis, Mo.-based utility is also seeking authorization from the Illinois Commerce Commission to impose a bevy of delivery surcharges. The commission meets today to consider the proposed rate increase.

"Illinois consumers have plenty to worry about and families are struggling to make ends meet in an increasingly difficult economy," Madigan said in a statement. "This is not the time to increase Ameren's revenues at the expense of Illinois families. Our investigation into this request clearly shows that Ameren's request is excessive, and the ICC should deny it."

Ameren, which operates electric and gas companies, has said it needs to increase revenues to maintain and improve its power lines and pipes to deliver electricity and natural gas, but the attorney general says the company is only seeking to boost its profits.

An administrative law judge has suggested Ameren be allowed to collect about $163.5 million more from its ratepayers.

Earlier this month, Madigan said regulators should reject Nicor Gas' application to raise revenues by $140 million.

The Naperville, Ill.-based company is seeking authorization for five separate surcharges to customers' bills..

The attorney general's office said Nicor's rate plan would increase the monthly customer charge by 39 percent, from $8.40 to $13.55. The average ratepayer would see a 31 percent rate kike, under the proposal.

Illinois, like many other states only allows utilities to make a profit on the delivery of natural gas.

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