BOMA/Chicago Opposes Increases in Peoples Gas Rate and Design Case
Peoples Gas recently filed a rate case with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), proposing a significant rate increase. The Peoples Gas case includes several key elements that have raised concerns among BOMA/Chicago member buildings, including an estimated 46% increase on delivery charges.
Most BOMA/Chicago member buildings are Peoples Gas customers who are directly susceptible to any approved rate increases. BOMA/Chicago has taken an active stance by filing as an intervenor in the case and submitting testimony to advocate for lower rates overall and a fairer distribution of costs for our member buildings.
The Peoples Gas case encompasses several key elements, including:
- Increased Rate of Return: Peoples Gas seeks to increase its rate of return, which would potentially contribute to higher costs for customers, including BOMA/Chicago buildings.
- Continued Spending on System Modernization Program: The rate case also involves substantial ongoing spending on the System Modernization Program. While infrastructure upgrades are necessary, many have raised concerns about the scale and impact of these expenditures on customer rates.
- Low-Income Rate Program: Peoples Gas proposes implementing a low-income rate program, aiming to assist financially vulnerable customers. BOMA/Chicago acknowledges the importance of supporting low-income customers but emphasizes the need for fair cost-sharing among all customer groups.
- New Rate Design Impacting Non-Residential Customers: The proposed rate design would shift a larger portion of costs onto non-residential customers, including BOMA/Chicago member buildings. This potential burden has raised significant concerns within the association.
The association recently submitted testimony to the ICC, highlighting the need for lower rates overall and a fairer distribution of costs. This testimony included: direct input from BOMA/Chicago Board Member T.J. Brookover of AmTrust Realty Corp. and expert testimony from energy consultant Mark Pruitt of the Power Bureau, LLC.
The ICC is expected to issue a final order regarding the rate increases and design by November 29, 2023. BOMA/Chicago remains actively involved in the process, advocating for fair and reasonable rates that consider the impact on its member buildings, especially given the current marketplace. The association continues to collaborate with its industry experts and other stakeholders to ensure that the interests of its members are represented effectively.