The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved a natural gas rate hike for Ameren, and a utility watchdog group hopes to appeal the decision. It’s unclear how much the $32 million hike approved by the ICC will affect the average gas customer, but regardless, Citizens Utility Board executive director David Kolata says the answer is already: “too much.” He says Ameren has been profitable and the rate hike isn’t needed.
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“The trend is upward over the last few years. They’re doing quite well. With the economy struggling, certainly we want to make sure consumers aren’t needlessly sending dollars out of their pocket to the big utilities,” he says. The $32 million increase is half of what Ameren originally requested, but it’s still more than the amount recommended by an administrative law judge. Kolata says the Citizens Utility Board will decide whether it’ll appeal the hike within a few weeks.