House Bill 14: Setting the Record Straight
Tuesday, Mar 29, 2011
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Myth: HB14 allows Illinois utilities to automatically raise rates every year.
Fact: That is not the case. Under HB14, utilities are required to submit to more frequent oversight (annual) and still are subject to stakeholder challenge and ICC prudence reviews over 8 ½ months.
Myth: HB14 eliminates much of the oversight currently provided by the ICC.
Fact: HB14 actually strengthens oversight because it makes the regulatory process a more frequent annual process that is transparent, allows discovery, holds utilities accountable for every dollar they invest and jobs they create. The ICC retains responsibility for reviewing utilities’ costs and setting rates.
Myth: HB14 provides utilities with higher-than-needed profits.
Fact: Under the Public Utilities Act, utilities are allowed to earn a reasonable rate of return. This is done through determining a return on the equity invested (ROE) for the utility. This rate has varied from rate case to rate case. This proposal only changes the way the ROE is set and is consistent with past ICC approved ROEs. Utilities still must establish that they managed work prudently at reasonable cost and stakeholder challenge and ICC prudence reviews remain.