Illinois Commerce Commission member Michael Carrigan, Chair Doug Scott and member Ann McCabe are pictured at a commission meeting in Springfield earlier this month. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

Regulators at the Illinois Commerce Commission unanimously approved rate hikes for four major natural gas utilities, but the little-known regulatory body’s decision was perhaps more notable for what it rejected. The board flexed its regulatory muscle, slashing the utilities’ requested rate increases by as much as 50 percent.

Yessenia Balcazar of the Southeast Environmental Task Force holds a sign in downtown Chicago at a March 27, 2023, protest of Peoples Gas’ proposed rate increase. (Andrew Adams / Capitol News Illinois)

Utility customers throughout Illinois will likely see higher natural gas bills beginning in January after staff at the state’s utility regulatory agency recommended rate increases for four gas companies.

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

A group of businesses filed a complaint with state regulators alleging that Chicago electric company Commonwealth Edison improperly raised customer bills this summer. The complaint claims the utility failed to follow proper regulatory channels.

Illinois PIRG Director Abe Scarr offers public comment at a Tuesday Illinois Commerce Commission hearing on Peoples Gas’ requested utility rate increase. (Andrew Adams / Capitol News Illinois)

The Illinois Commerce Commission is considering several rate hikes, including two sought by the utilities Peoples Gas and Ameren Illinois, who say they are needed to fund infrastructure improvements.

(WTTW News)

Your gas bill could be about $12 per month higher next year — that’s the average increase per customer Peoples Gas estimates if it succeeds in raising rates. It’s the first time in nine years the utility company has asked for a rate hike.

Doug Scott stands for a photograph in the hearing room at the Illinois Commerce Commission offices in downtown Chicago. (Andrew Adams / Capitol News Illinois)

Doug Scott is the new chair of the Illinois Commerce Commission. The commission is currently considering six proposed rate increases by gas and electricity utilities serving residents in Chicago and throughout most of suburban and downstate Illinois.

Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin calls for a reduction to a requested utility rate increase by Peoples Gas at a June 1, 2023, news conference. Rosazlia Grillier, a resident of West Englewood and advocate for low-income families, is also pictured. (Andrew Adams / Capitol News Illinois)

‘Unprecedented’ number of rate cases pending before Illinois Commerce Commission

Millions of Illinoisans could see higher energy bills next year, but the size of those increases will be determined by a state agency that has recently had its oversight powers expanded.

(WTTW News)

Utilities companies like ComEd and Peoples Gas make money by delivering energy. The rates they’re seeking to hike are for distribution, including infrastructure like pipes and transmission lines, and the profit they can tack on to those costs.

(Satya Prem / Pixabay)

Owners of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline have been given the go-ahead by Illinois to double capacity. Opponents aren't ready to give up the fight to block the expansion.

The Citizens Utility Board and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan have accused Peoples Gas of deliberately misleading regulators about the ballooning cost of a huge program to upgrade gas lines around Chicago. Tonight, we discuss the safety upgrades, the program's estimated cost and the claims about the company's actions with representatives from CUB and Peoples Gas.

A new energy initiative is encouraging area residents to get smart—by purchasing so-called smart thermostats–under a new rebate program that aims to cut heating costs. Will homeowners warm up to what is planned to be the country's largest smart energy initiative? We'll discuss the ambitious program with our panel of guests.