Utility regulators reject Peoples Gas’ attempt to claw back profits

We thank the Illinois Commerce Commission for continuing to hold Peoples Gas accountable.

Jordan Hamrick | TPIN

The Illinois Commerce Commission stood up against Peoples Gas’ attempt to increase profits and restore utility spending that had been disallowed in its rate case. People Gas filed a motion in early December to request “clarification” regarding the pause the Commission placed on its pipe replacement program. Peoples Gas requested $134 million of program spending be restored which would have increased the already record-setting rate hike by an additional $8.1 million. 

The Commission stated again, as it did in the original decision, that Peoples Gas is required to maintain a safe and efficient gas system. Peoples Gas and allies have been attempting to pressure the Commission into reversing its decision. These tactics included suggesting the legislature intervene, threatening the pending confirmation of three commissioners, and sending more than 20 letters in support of the motion from unions, contractors, and others, known as an “ex-parte” communication. At today’s meeting, Commission Chairman Scott directly addressed these ex-parte communications, asking members of the public to use more appropriate means of communicating because each letter requires an ethics report in compliance with Commission rules, creating extra work for commission staff.

Along with our allies, we gathered before the Commission meeting to thank them for decreasing the gas rate hikes and pausing Peoples Gas’ wasteful pipe replacement program. We showed our support for the Commission and defended our victory in the face of pressure from Peoples Gas and its allies. The Commission’s gas and electric rate case decisions show an increased focus on protecting consumers and the climate as we prepare to transition off the gas system.

Jordan Hamrick
Jordan Hamrick

Former Utility Watchdog Campaigner, Illinois PIRG


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