Ameren Illinois is opposing a bill now before the state’s general assembly that includes provisions aimed at shoring up two financially strapped Exelon nuclear plants, the Herald & Review reports.
Ameren is concerned about the impact the bill would have in its current form on its 1.2 million customers in central and south Illinois.
The bill, which faces a short legislative session, could come to a vote early next week.
In addition to funding support for the Exelon’s Clinton and Quad City nuclear plants, the bill, SB 2814, includes add-on payments for south Illinois coal plants, potentially including some owned by Ameren, as well as a range of other provisions including funding for utility energy efficiency measures, community solar programs and microgrids, as well as a shift in rate structure to demand charges and the elimination of retail net metering for solar power.
A previous version of the bill would have shifted ratepayers to demand charges based on the peak demand for the month. The latest version of the bill uses average demand over the course of the month.
Two earlier versions of the energy bill have also faced opposition and not been passed by the state’s General Assembly.
Craig Nelson, Ameren’s senior vice president of regulatory affairs and financial services, last week told a legislative committee that Ameren would not be able to shift to the new rate structure until it finishes installing smart meters for all its customers, which is not expected to be completed until late in 2019.
Nelson also said he is concerned that the bill would require Ameren to increase its spending on energy efficiency programs above the $89 million its already plans to spend in 2017.
“We’re at our limit. We have really stretched to get to that limit,” Nelson said, according to the Herald & Review.