Peoria, Ill. - Ameren Illinois today filed delivery service rate cases with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to recover costs for delivering electricity and natural gas to more than 1 million homes and businesses in Downstate Illinois.
“We are sensitive to the impact that any delivery service rate increase may have on our customers,” said Craig Nelson, senior vice president of Ameren Illinois. “However, we must have the financial ability to provide a safe and reliable energy delivery system that will accommodate future economic growth and development.”
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 until early 2012. Ameren Illinois is seeking an additional $51 million in cost recovery for its natural gas delivery service and another $60 million in cost recovery for its electric delivery service.
As the proposed rates are filed, a typical Ameren Illinois residential customer using 10,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year would pay between $2.96 to $3.78 more per month over the present bill amount including power supply charges. A typical residential customer using 785 therms of natural gas per year would pay between $1.88 to $4.53 per month over the present bill amount including gas supply costs.
The effect of the proposed rates – for a one month period – for each residential customer will appear on bills in April. In addition, customers will be able to see how the proposed rates would impact them for a full year by using the rate estimator at IllinoisRateFacts.com. This information also is available by calling Customer Service at 1-800-755-5000.
Ameren Illinois’ ActOnEnergy.com energy efficiency program empowers customers to reduce their energy usage without sacrificing comfort or safety by offering energy savings tips, tools and rebates.
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 1,000 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com.
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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 elsewhere in this release as well as those discussed under Risk Factors in our Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, and otherwise in our 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, including changes in regulatory policies and ratemaking determinations such as the outcome of the pending Ameren Illinois electric and natural gas rate proceeding and the court appeals related to Ameren Illinois’ 2010 consolidated electric and natural gas orders and future regulatory, judicial or legislative actions that seek to limit or reverse rate increases;
• the effects of, or changes to, the Illinois power procurement process;
• changes in laws and other governmental actions, including monetary and fiscal policies;
• the effects of increased competition in the future due to, among other things, deregulation of certain aspects of our business at both the state and federal levels, and the implementation of deregulation;
• the effects on demand for our services resulting from technological advances, including advances in energy efficiency and distributed generation services, which generate electricity at the site of consumption;
• increasing capital expenditure and operating expense requirements and our ability to recover these costs in a timely fashion in light of regulatory lag;
• the effects of participation in the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc.;
• the cost and availability of purchased power and natural gas for distribution;
• the effectiveness of our risk management strategies and the use of financial and derivative instruments;
• prices for power in the Midwest, including forward prices;
• business and economic conditions, including their impact on interest rates, bad debt expense, and demand for our products;
• disruptions of the capital markets 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;
• the impact of system outages;
• transmission and distribution asset construction, installation and performance;
• impairments of long-lived assets, intangible assets or goodwill;
• the effects of strategic initiatives, including mergers, acquisitions and divestitures;
• the impact of current environmental regulations on utilities and the expectation that more stringent requirements, including those related to greenhouse gases and energy efficiency, will be enacted over time, which could increase our costs, result in an impairment of our assets, reduce our customers’ demand for electricity or natural gas, or otherwise have a negative financial effect;
• labor disputes, work force reductions, future wage and employee benefit costs, including changes in discount rates and return 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 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.