Peoples disaster = Higher gas rates?

20150305_PeoplesGas_blogThe Peoples Gas pipe replacement program is shaping up to be the biggest train wreck of 2015.

Projected costs have reportedly doubled—to $4.6 billion—in five years. That could cause our gas rates to double over the next decade!

Peoples had previously accelerated its schedule to replace 1,700 miles of aging pipes under the city by 2030.  The company previously won the right to impose a special monthly surcharge  to recover program costs more quickly.  Then, in January 2015, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) granted Peoples a $75 million rate hike, largely to pay for the program— a hike that followed a $56 million rate hike less than two years before.

But, in return, all we’ve seen is one big financial hemorrhage.

State regulators will decide soon whether to make a recent audit of the program public, after both the Illinois Attorney General and CUB submitted a request in early February.  The audit reportedly exposes the mismanagement responsible for the skyrocketing costs.  As an out-of-state company (Wisconsin Energy) tries to buy Integrys Energy Group—Peoples Gas’ parent company— those audit findings could help consumer advocates force the companies to fix this mess before any merger is approved.

So far, 660 people have sent a message to the ICC to make the audit public and force Wisconsin Energy to fix the the program as a condition of its purchase of Peoples Gas.

If you haven’t already, there’s still time to add your name to the list.  Send a message to the ICC: Make the audit public!

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3 Responses to Peoples disaster = Higher gas rates?

  1. Pingback: ICC to launch Peoples investigation |

  2. Joe says:

    Peoples Gas is managed by INTEGRYS management from Green Bay. It’s clear that these guys from WI have little or no experience running a major utility in chicago. They are wasting away my hard earn money. Get rid of them. Bring in some new experienced managent to manage People Gas.

  3. Robert F. says:

    Hello, Megan. We should talk. Did you know that you can heat a home for less money with electricity today, using an all electric heat pump, than you can with natural gas? Did you know that the department of energy projects natural gas prices to go up 30% over the next ten years while they project no increase in electric rates? Did you know that heat pump prices are falling? Have you been keeping up with how costs of solar and wind energy continue to drop, meaning even lower electric rates, even though gas prices are still rising?

    There seems to be a disconnect with CUB and developments in the energy industry. Just last week CUB was promoting the plan to force reductions in electricity production despite the fact that low/zero emission grid based electric generation plants are available for home heating and are increasingly more affordable than the uber polluting natural gas. I’m not sure why CUB is taking a position that favors a carbon emitting energy source over sources with little or no emissions.

    Natural gas for home heating should be something we all move away from. I’m not sure why you don’t see that.

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