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Ameren Illinois Files Natural Gas Delivery Service Rate Case

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Jan. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Illinois today filed a delivery service rate case with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to recover its infrastructure investments and the increased costs of delivering natural gas to about 813,000 homes and businesses in downstate Illinois.

"We have filed this delivery service rate case to assure our ongoing financial ability to provide a safe and reliable energy delivery system that will accommodate future economic growth and development," said Craig Nelson, senior vice president of Ameren Illinois.

"We understand the impact a delivery service rate increase may have on our customers and will continue to help our customers better manage their energy spending through our ActOnEnergy® program," Nelson said.

Ameren Illinois must secure permission for additional cost recovery from the ICC as required by state law. The process for Ameren Illinois to change its delivery service rates takes 11 months so the new rates would not take effect before late December. Ameren Illinois is seeking an additional $50 million in cost recovery for its natural gas delivery service. Delivery service rates were last increased on Jan. 20, 2012.

Additional information about the natural gas delivery service rate case is available at IllinoisRateFacts.com.

If the ICC approves the entire amount requested, a typical Ameren Illinois residential customer using 785 therms of natural gas per year would pay the following additional amounts for delivery service per month: Rate Zone 1 - $2.52; Rate Zone 2 - $4.00, and Rate Zone 3 - $2.87.

The Ameren Illinois ActOnEnergy energy efficiency program empowers customers to reduce their energy usage without sacrificing comfort or safety by offering energy savings tips, tools and rebates. Detailed information is available at ActOnEnergy.com.

Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 813,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois, and our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com.

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 Illinois' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and elsewhere in this report and in our other filings with the SEC, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations suggested in such forward-looking statements:

  • regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions, including changes in regulatory policies and ratemaking determinations;
  • impairments of goodwill, intangible assets, or long-lived assets;
  • changes in laws and other governmental actions, including monetary, fiscal, and tax policies;
  • increasing capital expenditure and operating expense requirements and our ability to recover these costs;
  • the cost and availability of natural gas for distribution and the level and volatility of future market prices for natural gas, including the ability to recover the costs of such natural gas;
  • the effectiveness of our risk management strategies and the use of financial and derivative instruments;
  • business and economic conditions, including their impact on interest rates, bad debt expense, and demand for our products;
  • disruptions of the capital markets, deterioration in credit metrics of Ameren Illinois, or other events that make Ameren Illinois' access to necessary capital, including short-term credit and liquidity, impossible, more difficult, or more costly; 
  • our assessment of our liquidity;
  • the impact of the adoption of new accounting guidance and the application of appropriate technical accounting rules and guidance;
  • actions of credit rating agencies and the effects of such actions;
  • the impact of weather conditions and other natural phenomena on us and our customers;
  • transmission and distribution asset construction, installation, performance, and cost recovery;
  • the effects of strategic initiatives, including mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, and any related tax implications;
  • the impact of current environmental regulations on utilities and new, more stringent or changing requirements, including those related to greenhouse gases, other emissions and energy efficiency, that are enacted over time and that could increase our costs, result in an impairment of our assets, reduce our customers' demand for natural gas, or otherwise have a negative financial effect;
  • labor disputes, workforce reductions, future wage and employee benefits costs, including changes in discount rates and returns on benefit plan assets;
  • the inability of our counterparties and affiliates to meet their obligations with respect to contracts, credit facilities, and financial instruments;
  • legal and administrative proceedings; and
  • acts of sabotage, war, terrorism, cybersecurity attacks or intentionally disruptive acts.

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