Ameren announces lower utility rate for St. Joseph

St. Joseph residents can knock a few dollars off their power bill for the next 12 months.

Recently Ameren Illinois announced lower residential electric rates to the tune of 4.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) starting with this month's meter readings. With the transmission fees, the rate is estimated to be about 4.7 cent per kwh.

According to a press release from the village's electric aggregation consultant Simec, the low bidder for supplying electrical services to residents, the new rate is approximately three-tenths of one cent less than their rate of 5.031 cents.

The average consumer in St. Joseph would save roughly $36 a year switching to Ameren.

Customers that choose to opt out of the aggregation program offered by the village are subject to a lockout period of 12-months with Constellation, the default provider for village. Regulations require consumers who opt out to remain a total of 12 months with Ameren or a supplier of their choice if they do not switch to a new provider within the first two months of the initial change in service.

Once a customer opts out they will be returned automatically to Ameren or to the specified retail electric supplier.

One thing to keep in mind, Ameren, who cites decreased costs in delivering electrical service at this time, may raise their rates at any time if they file with the ICC and demonstrate that their operational expenses have changed. The sole benefit of municipal aggregation is it does offer some measure of price stability since the rates are locked in for a specific period of time.

While Constellation negotiated rate with St. Joseph is among the lowest in the state, Ameren's new rate is appreciably lower in many communities. Quincy's provider bills 5.09/kwh. Effingham residents pay 6.285 with their aggregator. Godfrey’s current municipal electrical aggregation contract with Homefield Energy is at 5.496 until December 2020.

According to the release issued by Simec, residents currently with Constellation can opt out at any time and at no cost. To opt out, they will need to contact Constellation’s customer care center toll free number at (844) 312-9122 and will need only their account number. Customer account numbers can be found at the top of their bill.

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