Consumer Group Blasts Nicor's $230M Rate-Hike Request

Bob Roberts
November 14, 2018 - 4:16 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- It's been only nine months since the Illinois Commerce Commission approved a $93.5 million rate hike for Nicor. Now, the utility is back asking for more.

Nicor's $230 million request, filed Friday, is the biggest the Citizens Utility Board has ever seen, and the most outrageous, says CUB’s Jim Chilsen.

"That's exorbitant," Chilsen said.

Nicor says it needs the increase to keep service safe and reliable by modernizing its distribution, transmission and storage infrastructure. 

CUB is upset with the built-in 10.6 percent rate of return it would give stockholders.

Chilsen says the last increase was less than half of the $208 million Nicor sought then, and promises to fight for every penny it can obtain in reductions this time.

He said CUB is not opposed to safe delivery and updated systems but called the Nicor request "outrageous."

The commission will rule on the request next October.

Nicor says it is the state’s largest deliverer of natural gas, providing it to 2.2 million customers throughout Northern Illinois.