Case Number: 14-0066

  • April 16, 2014

    I am a resident and home owner in Rock Island. Also, I am rated by the Veterans Administration at 100% total and permanent disabled, which fixes my income. My concern is serious as it pertains to the content of the aforementioned article. In this part of the state called the Illinois Quad Cities, our utility is serviced by Mid American Energy only. As you are aware, residents here do not have alternative energy providers from which to choose. Mid American Energy, an Iowa based company, therefore enjoys a monopoly in this market. Moreover, according to the article, Mid American Energy sees a need to request an unfair rate hike on its Illinois customers far higher than that of its Iowa customers. The company claims the rate hike is necessary to cover the cost of employees and materials. In my humble opinion, I strongly feel the rate hike request is unnecessary if not altogether egregious considering how a typical residential utility bill for one cycle consists of 6 items billed as charges and taxes for electricity and 8 items billed as charges and taxes for natural gas, respectively.
    Any kind of utility increase causes undue burdens in my particular situation. As I have sought relief from Project Now, the only community based resource in this area for utility assistance, unfortunately, my request was denied. Thankfully, Mid American Energy has a program called budget billing, which helps stretch my ever increasing balance due over the course of the year.
    No one doubts we are still living in the midst of a struggling economy. At least, it's a struggle for those of us individuals who do not have the privilege of basking in a sea of endless cash as Mid American Energy might believe. Nevertheless, were it not for organizations such as the Illinois Commerce Commission, there would be little to no recourse for the many citizens like myself to seek common sense solutions and protection against higher rates for energy.
    It is my hope that the Illinois Commerce Commission take a stand on the side of the consumer with this matter and petition the esteemed Illinois legislature to render an emphatic NO vote against Mid American Energy's unnecessary and unfair utility rate hike. Thank you, kindly, for your time and serious consideration.

    Steven A. Ortiz
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