ICC to Expedite Decisions Over Rate HikesPosted on
ICC Cutting Gas Rate Hikes
Illinois energy customers have been fighting rate hike attempts from both gas and electric utilities to the tune of $2.9 billion. The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) decided to expedite its decisions because so many customers were being affected. And so far, they've been slashing the rate hikes. We're here to explain the rate hikes, and what it means for both the utilities and your electric and natural gas rates.
ICC Cuts People's Gas Rate Hike, Ordered Investigation
For Peoples Gas, the news from the ICC is harsh. Not only did the ICC cut their rate hike request by 25%, but they ordered an investigation into the company's controversial pipeline replacement program.
Until an investigation is completed, the project's funding has been cut. However, the utility is not off the hook for replacing their failing infrastructure.
More than $200 million of the rate hike was to offset a surcharge ending this year. Known as the “qualified infrastructure plant,” or QIP, it was designed to pay for infrastructure upgrades and maintenance. The QIP fee began in 2013 and for some customers has increased by nearly $10 over the past decade.
Still, the approved rate hike will raise customers' bills by a little less than $10 a month.
Rate Increases from Other Gas Utilities Cut in Half
But Peoples Gas isn't the only one feeling the burn. Other gas utilities have faced rate hike cuts as well. The ICC lowered Ameren’s gas rate hike by about 50.8 percent. And cut Nicor’s rate hike by 30.3 percent. Finally for North Shore, they cut the requested rate hikes by 34 percent.
So while rates will rise next year, it won't be nearly as much as the utilities requested.
Ameren Electric, Com-Ed Rate Hikes Up for Review
Both ComEd and Ameren Electric have also filed for increases.
ComEd is requesting to hike delivery rates by $1.5 billion over the next four years. Since this would be hiking delivery rates, you'd be paying the increased rates even if you choose another electricity provider. Ameren is requesting a rate hike of $481 million over the next four years.
Both companies state that worsening weather is damaging their grids and that they need to improve them. The companies must also make changes to meet the Illinois Climate and Equitable Jobs Act. This act requires utilities serving over 500 thousand customers must integrate green energy into their grid and file a multiyear plan.
But customers are already paying a lot. The average Ameren customer has already seen a $52 monthly increase in the power supply portion of their electric bill since last year. The AARP has started a petition against the Ameren hike. And the Citizen's Utility Board (CUB) wants to reduce the rate hikes by ComEd and Ameren by $915 million and $520 million respectively.
Don't Let Rate Hikes Get To You
While the ICC is likely to lower the rate hikes, undoubtably your electricity and natural gas rates are going to rise. If you want to save money, your best bet is to Visit https://www.ilenergyratings.com and shop for a better rate from the best energy suppliers. Read reviews, compare providers, and find the best natural gas or electricity plan for you.