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Ameren touts benefits of rate relief

Ameren is pleased with the new rate relief package that was unveiled yesterday. A press release from Ameren today explains why:

Gary L. Rainwater, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ameren Corporation, noted: “This comprehensive rate relief package provides significant benefits to our Illinois electric customers, while benefiting our shareholders by providing legislative stability. It also avoids a costly, lengthy and undesirable court battle to overturn a rate freeze and power generation tax.”

That “legislative stability” is a provision of the relief package that states, “The General Assembly leadership agrees not to pass legislation that would freeze or reduce electric rates, or impose a tax, special assessment or fee on electricity generators through
Aug. 1, 2011.” So the charges of collusion are dropped and the threat of an imminent rate freeze is dropped. Ameren’s happy, and Ameren’s shareholders are happy.

How about Ameren’s customers? I think they’re going to be happy, too. Here are a couple of pie charts that Ameren released today to show the effect this rate relief will have on customers’ electric bills:

Ameren Chart Before Rate Relief

Ameren Chart After Rate Relief

Of course these graphs only depict 2007 rate increases, since they’re phasing in the rate increases over three years (January 2007 through December 2009). To make up for the higher rates we’ve been paying since January, Ameren will be mailing us all rebate checks. Ameren has provided this graphic to explain how much we may be getting:

Typical Residential Credits

All this will be funded by the electricity-generating companies — the ones who made out like bandits in the reverse auction deal:

The $1-billion statewide rate relief package will be funded by contributions of $150 million from Ameren-affiliated companies and $800 million from Exelon-affiliated companies, with the remainder coming from other electric generating companies in the state. Ameren Corporation expects earnings per share will be reduced by approximately 26, 11, 7 and 1 cents per share in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively, as a result of the rate relief package.

You can read the full press release from Ameren here. The Citizens Utility Board is cautiously optimistic about this deal, and as far as I know they’re not receiving any money from the power companies this time around. So far, this appears to be a good deal for everyone. Only time will tell if it really is or not.

1 comment to Ameren touts benefits of rate relief

  • The Mouse

    for the General Assembly “leadership” to commit that the legislature will not pass something is unconstitutional, but to do it for a period of time well beyond the current legislature is more than outrageous. It shows how low this state has sunk that they openly state such back-room deals. They know nothing will be done about it. The People will take the crums offered and “be happy”. It’s another scam.