US utility Ameren Illinois has secured approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission to reduce its energy tariffs in January 2018.
The energy company will reduce it's tariffs for residential consumers by $1.70. The decrease is the second in two consecutive years.
Today's announcement marks the second consecutive and fifth overall rate decrease since the landmark Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act – or Smart Grid Bill – was passed in 2011.
The decrease is part of efforts by Ameren to improve services to its 1.2 million electricity customers, at the same time modernising it's energy infrastructure with smart grid technologies.
Richard J. Mark, chairman at Ameren Illinois, commented: "We made a commitment to our customers and state regulators to build a stronger and more reliable electric distribution system and keep rates stable.
"The plan approved today demonstrates that prudent cost management and solid project execution can help our customers save."
Ameren Illinois has invested $480 million in upgrading it's grid in 2017.
Investments made grid modernisation over the past six years have improved service reliability by 17% and reduced energy bills by $45 million per annum.
Grid modernisation includes improving the resiliency of the energy system against storms by hardening poles. The utility has also installed automated switches, enhanced outage detection technology and installed 650,000 electric smart meters.
Ameren is planning to equip it's 1.9 million electric customers with smart meters by the end of 2019 in order to provide them with accurate bills and enable them to participate in energy efficiency initiatives.
"The smart grid program is delivering real and tangible results for energy consumers in Illinois, including greater reliability, a smarter and more technologically-advanced electric grid and more options for controlling energy usage," said Mark.
"By making prudent investments in the system, we are meeting the needs of our customers today while planning for the future."
Ameren and consumer energy efficiency
Ameren illinois has this year deployed a number of initiatives to improve consumer energy efficiency and keep their bills low.
The energy provider selected Dominion Voltage to modernise its grid and implement energy efficiency projects.
Under the initiative, Ameren Illinois got its grid system integrated with Dominion Voltage's Volt/VAR optimisation solution to help consumers improve their energy efficiency without changing energy consumption behaviours. Read more...
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