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Ameren electric customers will see smaller bills between now and the end of the year.  The Illinois Commerce Commission this week ordered the company to cut electric delivery rates by 48-point-one million dollars.  Jim Chilsen, with the Citizens Utility Board, says the lower rates can be tied to the company's smart grid plans.  

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Utilities statewide are now allowed to recoup the costs of so-called "smart-grid" upgrades through rate hikes, but Ameren hasn't yet presented an acceptable upgrade plan. Chilsen adds a new plan is in the works, but Ameren is running out of time to get it approved.

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Utilities are allowed to raise rates to recoup the cost of upgrading their grids, but Ameren's initial smart-grid upgrade was rejected.  Chilsen says it's re-tooling plans, but another delivery rate decrease could take place in January if it's also rejected.

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