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US utility Ameren Illinois has asked the Illinois Commerce Commission to reduce its energy tariffs by $7.22 million as from 2020.

The utility wants to reduce the monthly bill for a typical residential customer by $1.13.

The proposal to reduce the bills is the utility's sixth since the enactment of the state's Energy Infrastructure Modernisation Act (EIMA) passed in 2011.

EIMA has allowed Ameren to upgrade its energy system by installing:

  1. Hundreds of miles of storm-resistant utility poles and power lines along with advanced technology to detect service disruptions and immediately re-route power from alternative sources.
  2. More than 1 million smart meters to help consumers improve their energy efficiency

EIMA has since 2012 helped the utility to improve overall grid reliability by 20% and save customers an estimated $45 million each year through avoided outages and increased service reliability.

The act has also helped Ameren Illinois to generate nearly $1.7 billion in direct and indirect economic output, including $31.6 million in state tax revenues. Ameren Illinois has added 1,400 employee and contractor jobs during the period.

"EIMA is a win-win for our customers," said Richard J. Mark, chairman and president, Ameren Illinois. "The resources we're asking the ICC to approve will enable us to continue to modernize the electric grid while keeping rates stable."

"The future is bright for Illinois energy consumers," said Mark. "Reliability is up, the frequency and duration of outages are down, and technology is being implemented in ways never before imagined. At the same time, the average monthly residential electric bill remains virtually unchanged."