Ameren, ComEd get OK to raise rates in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved rate increases for the state's two main electric utilities.

The commission this week authorized an 11 percent overall raise for ComEd and 17.4 percent overall raise for Ameren Illinois. Meanwhile the Citizens Utility Board, a nonprofit watchdog group, criticized the increases and said it would file petitions for rehearings.

The amount customers will pay depends on different factors, including their location and how much electricity they use, commission officials said. The increases will affect delivery charges or how much consumers pay to have electricity delivered.

ComEd will gain about $245 million in new annual revenue with the increase. The company originally proposed a $275 million increase, according to the commission. ComEd customers will see the new rates on their January bills. Ameren will see an overall increase in annual revenue of $137 million.

The commission approved the increases after reviewing the utilities' expenditures over the last year, officials said. The new rates were set using a formula created by a state law that allows utilities to recover costs for specific investments in infrastructure, such as smart meter and smart grid technology.

"The power grid is evolving and it is my belief that these investments will result in positive changes and new innovative energy services for customers," ICC Chairman Doug Scott said.

But the Citizens Utility Board said it's disappointed the commission would approve the increases.

"They will hit consumers in the heart of what could be another expensive winter," CUB said in a statement.

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