Upper gasoline expenses may well be within the pipeline for Chicago-area consumers subsequent yr after Nicor filed for a $321 million fee build up Tuesday with the Illinois Trade Fee.
If authorized, the speed hike would carry the typical residential gasoline invoice by means of $9.28 per thirty days starting in January 2024, Nicor spokeswoman Jennifer Golz mentioned Wednesday.
Naperville-based Nicor Gasoline, which is owned by means of Atlanta-based Southern Co., has 2.3 million consumers in suburban Chicago and throughout northern Illinois.
In November 2021, the ICC granted Nicor a $240 million fee build up to modernize its distribution, transmission and garage infrastructure. That build up added about $3.70 per thirty days to the everyday residential buyer invoice, Golz mentioned.
Peoples Gasoline and co-owned North Shore Gasoline could also be looking for a fee build up as smartly, after filing a waiver request with the ICC to report for it electronically. The requests are at the ICC public software assembly schedule for Thursday, which is revealed at the company’s site.
David Schwartz, a spokesman for Peoples and North Shore Gasoline, would no longer ascertain if a fee build up request is within the offing.
“Our waiver request to make an digital submitting is a part of the ICC fee evaluation procedure,” Schwartz mentioned in an electronic mail Wednesday. “We will be able to permit you to know if we make a submitting.”
Peoples Gasoline has about 880,000 consumers in Chicago and North Shore Gasoline has about 164,000 consumers within the northern suburbs. Each utilities are owned by means of Milwaukee-based WEC Power Workforce.
If Peoples Gasoline information for a fee build up, it will be the first such request since 2014, after the software was once granted legislative approval to fund its massive pipeline replacement program and cross prices alongside to consumers for 10 years. Peoples Gasoline spends about $300 million every year at the program however will want lawmakers to log off on extending ratepayer investment past 2023.
Peoples Gasoline consumers are paying about $15 per thirty days to fund the pipeline alternative program, a line merchandise at the invoice this is about $2 upper than ultimate yr.
A number of watchdog teams are advocating legislators finish the integrated surcharge, striking Peoples’ spending underneath extra regulatory scrutiny and forcing the software to get infrastructure enhancements authorized via conventional fee instances.
“I do assume they’re going to take a look at to increase it,” mentioned Abe Scarr, director of Illinois PIRG, a nonprofit client advocacy group. “However as an alternative of getting a number of earnings tied up into this invoice surcharge that would possibly pass away, it is sensible for them to transport that into their customary charges.”
The ICC has 11 months to study a proposed software fee case, that means the earliest Peoples Gasoline may put into effect an build up would most likely be January 2024 — after the present pipeline alternative rider expires, Scarr mentioned.