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Rate relief likely to pass

Ameren LogoThe Springfield State Journal-Register reports that although no votes have been taken yet, the rate relief package unveiled yesterday is likely to pass. Indeed, everyone seems to be happy with the plan, even Ameren. So it appears to be a win-win-win.

As I understand it, there’s a short-term and long-term component. In the short-term, rate increases will be phased in. That means we’ll be getting a refund for electric rate increases over the first seven months of this year and then lower, but gradually increasing bills from now until 2010, when we’ll be back up to paying market rates again.

As for the long-term:

The main component of the long-term reform involves creation of the Illinois Power Authority, which will oversee state-regulated utilities’ purchase of electricity in the future. Once the IPA is launched, the reverse auction that was used last year to set the present electric rates will be discontinued.

The reverse auction improperly led to “windfall profits” for power generators, including those sharing a parent company with ComEd and Ameren, said Michael Madigan, who touted the benefits of the IPA at every stop on the fly-around.

You may recall that Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against the energy companies involved in the reverse auction accusing them of collusion to inflate energy prices. She’s planning to drop that suit if this plan passes.

I’ll have more analysis of this later after I have a chance to look at some information I received from Ameren today.

2 comments to Rate relief likely to pass

  • The Mouse

    If there was collusion, why should the suit be dropped? This Illinois Power Authority will be just another opportunity for corruption, or do you really believe the State of Illinois can negotiate a better deal than a private company?? (I’ve got a bridge to sell you).
    If we are going to deregulate power (which I think was a bad idea from the start), we should have forced the Ameren and ComEd to divest the generating units. Anyone who thinks the left hand dealing with the right hand wasn’t asking for trouble, well, how about that bridge?

  • Hula Monkey

    Considering who Lisa Madigan’s father is, I am sure that the dismissal of the lawsuit was just another bargaining chip in the rate relief debate. I scratch your back and you scratch my back politics.