Jan
12

Another Chicago Bill is Going Up

January 12, 2012

Yet another utility is sticking a hike on metro Chicago real estate owners and renters.

The Illinois Commerce Commission, which regulates gas and electric utility rates, this week approved a $60 million rate increase for Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. Peoples Gas was approved for a hike of almost $58 million, while North Shore Gas got a $1.9 million increase.

Gas burner lit up.It could have been worse: The companies originally requested a combined rate hike of $134 million.

The increase will be seen in your delivery costs, which is about a third of your monthly bill, and will probably equate to between $4-5 more per month.

Not a nice addition to area residents who use ComEd or Ameren for electricity: Those rates are going up more than $3 per month as well.

Plus, People’s Gas, which services more than 800,000 customers in the city of Chicago, had already increased its rates on its customers at the beginning of 2010 by almost $50 a year.

The ICC this week also approved a $32.2 million rate increase to downstate Ameren, which services more than 800,000 gas customers in central and southern Illinois, including Springfield. That company also got less than requested: It originally wanted a $111 million natural gas hike.

The Citizens Utility Board said it will appeal all the gas-rate increases. If unsuccessful, the rate hikes will take effect this month.

“Chicagoland gas customers are struggling in a tough economy,” said CUB Executive Director David Kolata. “The rate increases come at the worst possible time for consumers, hitting bills in the heart of the Chicago winter. We look forward to fighting this case on appeal”

Good to know someone is out there fighting for us.

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Tracey

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