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Electric rates not nearly high enough yet for greedy Ameren

Ameren LogoDespite the fact that Ameren’s webpage boasts “To Our Illinois Customers: We have listened to you and are ready to provide immediate rate relief,” the Journal Star reports today that rates are going up still more during June, July, August and September:

“No one likes to pay more for any product or service, but the rising costs of electricity have made higher rates a necessity,” Stan Ogden, Ameren Illinois’ director of customer service, said in a news release. “We have been able to structure rates to minimize the impact of higher costs during the summer months.”

I guess that 76% jump in profits just wasn’t enough to sustain old Ameren over the summer months. Their costs are going up, and it’s going to eat into that $123 million profit they made during the first three months of the year. I just don’t know how they’ll manage to stay in business at that rate.

Fortunately, they’ve worked to “minimize the impact of higher costs.” How thoughtful. Mr. Ogden and his bosses can console themselves with that thought every time an elderly person on a fixed income dies this summer because they can’t afford to run their air conditioners.

Do the greedy monopolists at Ameren really think they’re fooling anybody?

Update: First, it has come to my attention that my understanding of the rate increase is not accurate. The way I read the newspaper article, it sounded like they were talking about an additional rate increase for the summer months on top of the increase that took effect January 1. Not true. In fact, the increase is rather in reference to how much higher the summer rates will be relative to last year.

Secondly, for the record, I just want to express that I don’t really think Ameren is trying to kill old people — that was hyperbole. I felt that was obvious, but I’ve been told that Ameren employees take comments like that personally. So, if any Ameren employees thought I was accusing them of negligent homicide, my apologies. I guess some people take my blog way more seriously than I thought. I suppose that’s a good thing. It could mean that people are reading the Chronicle and have high expectations for it. I’ll go with that explanation. 🙂

15 comments to Electric rates not nearly high enough yet for greedy Ameren

  • SA

    This latest increase in delivery rates is terrible from a timing standpoint, coming on the heels of the generation rate increase. It’s all pretty confusing, much more so than the days when the entire price was regulated. The government needs to force the utility holding companies (Ameren, Exelon, et al) to divest themselves of their generating plants, as only then will the utilities that deliver the energy to us have a real incentive to minimize the cost of power they procure on our behalf.

  • cgiselle12

    Now, as I’ve come to understand it – and from a CUB board member no less – Ameren provides our electricity service AND generates the energy. So essentially, as my CUB friend put it, they are paying themselves for the electricity they sell us. Or “moving money from this pocket, to this pocket” – visual of him taking a few bucks from his left pocket and putting it in his right.

    This is a blatant snow job by Ameren and I am disgusted. Gas is going up and now my electricity rates will go up? I’m thinking I’ll be spending my summer in my basement, which is always very cool, since I won’t be able to EAT or DRIVE and pay my electricity bill. Pray for a cool summer, y’all!

    Calling for Emil Jones’ head might help some, you think?

  • The Mouse

    Ameren is a business. They are doing what they are supposed to be doing. The legislature, however, is supposed to be looking out for the consumer. Some legislators, it would seem, have been bought by the utility companies and are looking out for them. The State passed this nutty “deregulation” bill and now won’t admit it was a mistake. Again, who do they work for?? cgiselle is on the right track. Stop bashing Ameren and start demanding that the legislature act responsibly. We elect them, we pay them, they are supposed to work for us.

  • Paul Wilkinson

    our bill was over 190.00 and we didn’t run the air conditioning or the heat. that is a huge increase in our base electric bill. We have gase heat, stove and water heater. We have almost exclusively florescent bulbs. Am thinking about taking a candle making class. anyone else up for one…of course that increases risk of fire and with station 11 not at full capacity….

  • BeanCounter

    If you are looking for a good way to raise you blood pressure go look at all of your previous bills on Ameren’s website. I don’t even have high costs (the only good thing about apartment living) but the increase is obscene.

  • I would beg to differ that Ameren is “doing what they’re supposed to do.” Yes, they’re a business, and yes, they’re supposed to make a profit. But there are such things as corporate responsibility and ethics. Exploiting people through monopoly power fails on both counts.

  • Mahkno

    Pass the Vaseline… gonna need it.

  • Hula Monkey


    Vaseline? Ameren wants to make sure it it good and dry so we feel it more!

  • Laura

    OK, those last comments are gross.

    But, I’m planning to NOT run any AC this summer. If all healthy people would do that, maybe it would send a clear message to the greedsters at Ameren. Why reward them? I spent all the years of my childhood w/o AC. Doing so now will be a nice reminder of where I came from.

  • ben

    Laura, I’m not sure how much that would accomplish. We might end up just peak-shaving for them. They’d thank us!

    Also, I understand how C.J. misunderstood today’s explosion of rate-hike hysteria. I heard it on WCBU, and their coverage also made it seem like rates were going up even further. They didn’t /say/ that, of course, they’re good reporters after all, but the tone of the report had me close to believing in C.J.’s orginal interpretation.

  • CJ sez: “I guess some people take my blog way more seriously than I thought.”

    I say: Holy cow, yes they do. If I post a response to one of your 3 page posts and I don’t back my opinion up with glossy 8x11s or a foot thick of documents, I get raked over the coals here.

    This is most serious blog in the area which almost doesn’t make it a blog anymore but more of a online newspaper.

    Also, did the Ameren police show up and hold you at gun point to post that “update”?

  • The Mouse

    CJ, my “doing what they are supposed to do” was directed at making a profit. As for the monopoly, they were given that by the legislature. As for ethics, well, I think that was alluded to already. Why is the legislature allowing this kind of abuse of consumers?
    Legislators who have ties to Ameren/ComEd should be told to step aside in this debate, don’t you think?

  • Whatif


    Does your ‘rule’ apply to rising fuel/gas prices as well?

  • The Mouse

    Whatif: Not sure what you are asking. The oil companies do not have a monopoly. OPEC, which would be an illegal organization if it were made up of US businesses, since it colludes to set prices, has some monopoly power, but the bottom line is, like it or not, if you want fuel prices to go down you have to reduce demand/consumption. As long as the US govt. continues to subsidize and encourage inefficient transportation that will be difficult. Citizens need to demand a drastic change in priorities.

  • Luke

    By state law, the Ameren Illinois utilities, as well as ComEd, can only by up to 35% of electricity purchased from their parent companies, Ameren Corp. and Exelon. All other electricity is purchased from outside companies. As for AmerenCILCO, CIPS and IP being a monopoly, there is nothing stopping another company from coming in and selling electricity to a residential customer. There is one company registered with the state, BlueStar Energy, our of Chicago. They weren’t going to get involved with a rates frozen 40% below the national average for 10 years, and they won’t get involved when there is a chance thier rates would be frozen under what they can purchase electricity as well. The Peoria Chamber is doing the right thing with their electric buying co-op. But when you think about it, those customers would save approximately 7% off of AmerenCILCO’s rates. One must believe than, that Ameren’s rates aren’t that far off, and the people who are crying for rates to be reduced by up to 100% are the ones that are off.