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Illinois Commerce Commission Cuts Peoples Gas Rate Hike to $1.5 Million, Raising Safety Concerns and Criticism

(photo: Chicago Sun-Times)

The Illinois Commerce Commission reduced Peoples Gas’s requested rate hike from nearly $8 million to $1.5 million.

Illinois Commerce Commission Reduces Peoples Gas Rate Hike to $1.5 Million, Sparking Safety Concerns

Utility regulators have approved a new rate increase for Peoples Gas, but it’s lower than what the company requested. The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) reduced the hike from nearly $8 million to $1.5 million leading to higher natural gas costs for consumers, according to the report of ABC Chicago 7.

The ICC, which oversees utilities unanimously decided to lower the rate hike. Critics believe Peoples Gas should finish their pipe replacement project without charging customers more. The company argues that this decision threatens the safety and reliability of Chicago’s energy system.

Marc Poulos from the Illinois, Indiana, Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting warned that the smaller rate hike hinders essential system upgrades. He also criticized the push for an all-electric system calling it impractical and unsafe.

READ ALSO: $7.5 Million In Carbon Auction Revenue: Washington State Allocates Funds For 5 Tribal Clean Energy Initiatives – Boosting State’s Emissions Reduction Efforts!

(photo: WTTW News)

Illinois Commerce Commission Reduces Peoples Gas Rate Hike Amid Opposition and Safety Concerns

Consumer groups and the Illinois Attorney General oppose further rate hikes until Peoples Gas provides more justification for their costs and progress. Last year, the ICC reduced the utility’s $402 million rate request to $300 million and paused the pipeline program for further investigation.

Sarah Moskowitz from the Citizens Utility Board noted that investigations found the pipeline program mismanaged and overbudget. Consumer groups say the rate hikes will add about $8 per month to gas bills, burdening already struggling customers.

Currently, around 163,000 Peoples Gas customers are over a month behind on their bills. This increase comes as the gas company reportedly makes record profits, adding to consumer frustration.

Peoples Gas plans to appeal the ICC’s decision arguing that the rate increase is essential for maintaining and modernizing Chicago’s gas infrastructure. The appeal’s outcome will shape the next steps in this ongoing debate.

READ ALSO: $1.8 Billion In New Tax Revenue, 96,000 Households Lost: The Millionaire Tax’s Uncertain Future – Check It Out!

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