Ameren Illinois will spend the next 10 years upgrading its electric grid, and its customers will foot the bill. A law enacted last year allows utility companies to recover infrastructure repair and modernization costs through rate hikes, which is what Ameren Illinois is doing… spending $625 million over 10 years. Utility spokesman Leigh Morris says the average customer will spend an extra $3 a year to start – but that will increase as work picks up.
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“And the end of the 10 years it will add $34 in a year to that typical customer’s bill to pay for all of these improvements,” he says. Morris says among the goals of the improvements are reduced power failures, both in length and frequency, and increased energy efficiency through the use of smart meters. Ameren will add hundreds of jobs over the next 10 years as required by the so-called “Smart Grid” legislation passed last year.