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Illinois Senate passes natural gas measure backed by Ameren

By: Diana Barr |

The Illinois Senate on Tuesday passed a measure that Ameren Illinois officials said will allow the company to invest another $330 million over the next decade to improve the state’s natural gas infrastructure.

Senate Bill 2266, known as the Natural Gas Consumer, Safety and Reliability Act, allows gas utilities in Illinois to recover costs associated with replacing underground natural gas facilities and updating meters, among other expenses. Ameren Illinois officials said that under the cost recovery plan, a typical residential customer using 785 therms a year would pay about a penny more a day for gas delivery services over the 10-year period. The measure places a 4 percent annual average cap on increases to the delivery portion of customers’ bills.

The measure now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn for approval.

The legislation will create 150 jobs in central and southern Illinois as part of the infrastructure upgrade, Ameren Illinois officials said in a release.

Ameren Illinois Co. is an electric and gas delivery utility subsidiary of Ameren Corp., which serves 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.

St. Louis-based Ameren Corp. (NYSE: AEE), led by Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Voss, reported a net loss of $143 million on revenue of $1.48 billion in the first quarter of 2013.