Transmission costs will affect the 2022 electricity tariff | New


METROPOLIS, Ill. – The New Year will bring increased energy costs, not only for residents of the city of Metropolis, but also for those who live in Joppé and Brookport.

And the reason, as corporate lawyer Rick Abell explained to Metropolis City Council at its meeting this week, isn’t the electricity itself.

“One of the things that is happening in the world of electricity is that energy prices have been relatively stable over the past few years. Transmission is where all of the cost increases have occurred and will likely continue for the foreseeable future, ”he said. “It affects everyone to whom Ameren provides power. This will be reflected in their retail rates and wholesale rates. “

Abell said Metropolis pays a delivery service charge in its rate schedule and reviews it annually to determine if it is sufficient to cover the rates transmitted by Ameren.

“Looking at this, the rate in place was not enough to cover the latest increase in costs,” said Abell, who is a board member of the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency.

Abell noted that over the past seven years, transmission costs have increased by $ 26.6 million – from $ 14.9 million in 2014 to $ 41.5 million in 2021 – to $ 4.6 million. of the increase from 2020 to 2021.

So, to cover the costs, the IMEA is increasing its delivery costs by 97 cents per kilowatt-month. For residents of Metropolis, this translates to an increase of $ 1.08.

“It’s not huge, but I think the trendline is something we need to think about,” Abell said. “The IMEA will do its best to manage it, but these are costs that are going to be incurred. As the transport providers are bought to put more money back into the network, they will fall back into the rate base and everyone will pay more. “

Metropolis has been part of the IMEA – the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency – since 1986. The city has a full contract with the IMEA which runs until 2035. Metropolis is one of 32 member cities with an agreement to purchase all its electrical energy at the IMEA. until then.

Through these contracts, the IMEA finances the power plants and long-term electricity supply contracts that it owns. The IMEA is a municipal company with a board of directors made up of a representative of each member and a board of directors made up of four directors and five people in their personal capacity. The council employs staff; approves rates, policies and programs; approves funding; approves short and long term contracts; approves capital projects; approve annual budgets, audits and legal actions; oversees an annual budget of $ 334 million; and manages assets valued at $ 1.2 billion.

Abell also informed the board that the IMEA credit rating has been upgraded from A + to A ++ by Fitch Ratings.

“The IMEA has structured itself to repay its debt before the closure of Prairie State, which means that after several years of operation where there is no debt to this plant, the IMEA will be able to profit the lower cost of electricity. Whatever they profit, the city of Metropolis benefits, ”said Abell.

In other cases, the Metropolis Fire Department will seek closer assistance with work on its trucks.

The Council accepted the City of Paducah’s Motorized Equipment and Emergency Apparatus Service Contract for fleet maintenance for the department.

Metropolis Department of Public Safety Director Harry Masse said he had been contacted by the town of Paducah, which has mechanics and technicians trained in schools certified to work on fire trucks and fire engines. other large fleet emergency devices. The service is offered at the expense of the City of Paducah to agencies in the region.

“They won’t charge us anything more than what they charge the town of Paducah for their own business,” Masse said, noting that the equipment currently needs to be transported at least 2.5 hours from Freeburg or the metropolitan area to be worked. to. “It’s local and these guys are certified – they specialize in emergency equipment”

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