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Ameren Illinois files for rate decrease

COLLINSVILLE, Ill., April 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Illinois residential customers will pay less for electric delivery service next year under a plan filed today with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).  Approval of the $7.22 million decrease would lower monthly electric delivery bills for the typical residential customer by approximately $1.13 per month. 

Ameren Illinois logo (PRNewsFoto/Ameren Illinois)

Today's filing is the sixth decrease in Ameren Illinois electric delivery rates since the state's Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA) passed in 2011. Under EIMA, Ameren Illinois customers have saved an estimated $45 million each year through avoided outages and increased service reliability.

"EIMA is a win-win for our customers," said Richard J. Mark, chairman and president, Ameren Illinois. "The resources we're asking the ICC to approve will enable us to continue to modernize the electric grid while keeping rates stable."

Since 2012, Ameren Illinois has installed hundreds of miles of storm-resistant utility poles and power lines along with advanced technology that detects service disruptions and immediately re-routes power from alternative sources. In addition, more than 1 million smart meters are providing customers with enhanced energy usage data and access to programs to help them save on their energy bills. These investments have contributed to a 20 percent overall increase in reliability.

According to an economic impact report commissioned by Ameren Illinois, grid modernization under EIMA generated nearly $1.7 billion in direct and indirect economic output, including $31.6 million in state tax revenues. Ameren Illinois has added 1,400 employee and contractor jobs during the period.

Delivery rates are determined based on the utility's current-year costs and actual costs compared to the forecast from the previous year. Prudent cost management, operational efficiencies and lower borrowing costs to fund capital projects are among the factors resulting in Ameren Illinois' requested rate reduction. Coupled with expected lower supply costs, overall customer monthly electric bills are expected to be lower in 2020 than in 2012 and remain below the 2018 national average.

"The future is bright for Illinois energy consumers," said Mark. "Reliability is up, the frequency and duration of outages are down, and technology is being implemented in ways never before imagined. At the same time, the average monthly residential electric bill remains virtually unchanged."

To learn more about Ameren Illinois' electric and gas modernization programs, visit AmerenIllinois.com/focus, Facebook.com/AmerenIllinois, and Twitter @AmerenIllinois.

About Ameren Illinois 
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers in Illinois. Our mission is to power the quality of life. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com, find us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois or Facebook. 

Forward-looking Statements

Statements in this release not based on historical facts are considered "forward-looking" and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such forward-looking statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. These statements include (without limitation) statements as to future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions, and financial performance. In connection with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we are providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The following factors, in addition to those discussed under Risk Factors in Ameren's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, and elsewhere in this report and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations suggested in such forward-looking statements:

  • regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions, and any changes in regulatory policies and ratemaking determinations, and future regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions that change regulatory recovery mechanisms;
  • the effect of Ameren Illinois' participation in performance-based formula ratemaking frameworks under the Illinois Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act, including the direct relationship between Ameren Illinois' return on common equity and the 30-year United States Treasury bond yields, and the related financial commitments;
  • the effects of changes in federal, state, or local laws and other governmental actions, including monetary, fiscal, and energy policies;
  • the effects of changes in federal, state, or local tax laws, regulations, interpretations, or rates, amendments or technical corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 ("TCJA"), and challenges to tax positions taken by Ameren illinois, if any;
  • the effects on demand for our services resulting from technological advances, including advances in customer energy efficiency, energy storage, and private generation sources, which generate electricity at the site of consumption and are becoming more cost-competitive;
  • our ability to align overall spending, both operating and capital, with frameworks established by our regulators and to recover these costs in a timely manner in our attempt to earn our allowed returns on equity;
  • the cost and availability of purchased power, zero emission credits, and renewable energy credits; and the level and volatility of future market prices for such commodities and credits, including our ability to recover the costs for such commodities and credits and our customers' tolerance for any related price increases;
  • the impact of cyberattacks on us or our suppliers, which could, among other things, result in the loss of operational control of energy centers and electric transmission and distribution systems and/or the loss of data, such as customer, employee, financial, and operating system information;
  • business and economic conditions, including their impact on interest rates, collection of our receivable balances, and demand for our products;
  • the inability of our counterparties to meet their obligations with respect to contracts, credit agreements, and financial instruments;
  • the impact of weather conditions and other natural phenomena on us and our customers, including the impact of system outages;
  • the construction, installation, performance, and cost recovery of transmission and distribution assets;
  • the effects of breakdowns or failures of electric transmission or distribution equipment or facilities, which could result in unanticipated liabilities or unplanned outages;
  • the impact of complying with renewable energy requirements the zero emission standard in Illinois;
  • legal and administrative proceedings; and
  • acts of sabotage, war, terrorism, or other intentionally disruptive acts.

New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained or implied in any forward-looking statement. Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information or future events.

SOURCE Ameren Illinois

For further information: Ameren Illinois: Tucker Kennedy, 309-258-3101, tkennedy3@ameren.com; Marcelyn Love, 618-301-5250, mlove@ameren.com