Ameren Illinois customers will pay less for electric service delivery beginning in January of 2017 under a plan approved on December 6 by the Illinois Commerce Commission. The $14.488 million decrease in delivery service rates over current charges is the fourth such rate decrease since the landmark smart grid bill was passed in 2011. For the typical residential customer using 10,000 kwh of electricity, it will mean savings of approximately $1.37 on the monthly bill.
"There are two pieces of good news for our customers," said Craig Nelson, senior vice president, Regulatory Affairs and Financial Services for Ameren Illinois. "First, Ameren Illinois customers, whose electric rates are already well below the national average, will continue to receive a good value for the service they're being provided. Second, the Commission’s order validates that our 10-year plan to modernize the state's energy grid is being implemented responsibly and in a cost-effective manner."
In support of its smart grid implementation plan, Ameren Illinois plans to continue to make significant investments in electric system improvements in 2017. Projects will include the installation of storm-resilient utility poles along with technology and upgraded distribution equipment designed to detect and reduce the frequency of power outages. To date, these enhancements have resulted in an overall 17% increase in reliability and saved customers an estimated $47 million each year. Customers are also benefitting from the installation of advanced meters, two-way devices that will provide customers with enhanced energy usage data and access to tools and programs to help them use less energy.
The Commission's decision on 2017 rates follows a thorough review of Ameren Illinois’ expenditures on capital projects completed through this year. It comes on the heels of passage of the Future Energy Jobs Bill, legislation signed into law today by Governor Bruce Rauner that will keep two nuclear facilities in operation and ensure the availability of lower-cost clean energy for downstate consumers. Ameren Illinois projects that stable energy supply, along with stronger energy efficiency programs included in the bill, will result in a decrease in customer electric rates beginning in June of 2017.
"Since the innovative smart grid plan went into effect, it's evident the program is surpassing expectations – customers are saving energy and money, and our investments in the system are resulting in an enhanced and more reliable electric grid," Nelson said. "The energy legislation that passed last week will continue the progress that has been made in Illinois in building a world-class energy infrastructure for the future."
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.
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, 2015, and elsewhere in this release 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:
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.