SPRINGFIELD, Ill., PEORIA, Ill. and DECATUR, Ill., July 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ameren Corporation and the Ameren Illinois utilities applaud the announcement today of a $1 billion rate relief package for electric customers across Illinois.
Senate President Emil Jones Jr., House Speaker Michael Madigan and Attorney General Lisa Madigan confirmed the agreement among legislative leaders, the attorney general's office, the Ameren Illinois utilities, Commonwealth Edison and electric generators at a news conference in Peoria. Follow up press events were planned today in Decatur, Cahokia, Marion and Quincy.
The agreement includes significant rate relief for customers and promises long-term reform aimed at keeping electric rates stable throughout the state. "This agreement provides the relief our customers have been asking for since the beginning of the year," said Scott Cisel, president and CEO of the Ameren Illinois utilities. "This is good news for electric customers throughout Illinois."
Of the $1 billion in relief, $488 million will be funneled to customers of the Ameren Illinois utilities -- AmerenCIPS, AmerenIP and AmerenCILCO -- over the next four years. Most of the money this year will be paid out in credits on bills or checks for bills already paid, but millions will be earmarked for seniors, low-income customers, not-for-profit organizations and small businesses hit hardest by the January 2007 rate increase. The Ameren Illinois utilities also will waive outstanding late fees for their customers. In addition, the Ameren Illinois utilities will extend to Sept. 1 their policy not to shut off all-electric residential customers with an outstanding balance. Customers can avoid a cut off of services by arranging a payment plan for their overdue balance.
Ameren Corporation and its affiliates are contributing $150 million to the relief package, with the remainder coming from other electric generators and suppliers.
For the long-term, the Ameren Illinois utilities support the creation of the Illinois Power Agency to purchase power for Illinois utilities, with oversight by the Illinois Commerce Commission. The new governmental agency will replace the reverse auction used last September to obtain power for the Ameren Illinois utilities.
Scott Cisel, president and CEO of the Ameren Illinois utilities, will unveil further details of the rate relief agreement on Tuesday morning, July 24, at a press conference at the Illinois Building, 607 E. Adams, Springfield. A call-in question-and-answer session will follow for media unable to attend the Springfield press conference in person. A media advisory will be sent out today with the time of the press conference.
Ameren Corporation and its Illinois subsidiaries -- AmerenCILCO, AmerenIP and AmerenCIPS -- provide electricity to about 1.2 million customers and natural gas service to more than 800,000 customers in downstate Illinois.
SOURCE: Ameren Corporation
CONTACT: media, Shelley Epstein, +1-309-370-5945, or investors,
Bruce Steinke, +1-314-554-2574, both of Ameren Corporation
Web site: http://www.ameren.com/