Utility Giants Meet

June 6, 2006

Illinois electric utility giants Ameren and ComEd are meeting in New York today.

It's another step in a move to deregulate Illinois' electricity market.

By September, venerable Illinois energy distributors ComEd and Ameron will have to a learn a new trick: They'll buy electricity through complex auctions instead of having prices regulated by the state.

Today, the companies are meeting with power suppliers in New York. They're hammering out details over how the auction will work.

The meeting's closed to everyone but industry reps and the Illinois Attorney General's Office.

And that's got industry watchdogs like the Citizens Utility Board fuming. They say the public deserves the same access to the auction process that the industry does.

The Illinois Commerce Commission says the public is invited to attend a separate meeting later this month.

Meanwhile, regulators say the electricity auctions will increase rates in Illinois beginning in 2007.