Feds investigating electric rate price spike in Southern Illinois

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has launched a formal investigation into the price spike in Southern Illinois as a result of Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s (MISO) annual capacity auction, according to state Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion), who has been calling for an investigation since last spring.

Bradley says he’s grateful to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for stepping in and looking at why the capacity prices jumped up so high for Southern Illinois residents.

Capacity prices are based on the ability of power generators to meet demand in high peak usage periods such as hot summer months when air conditioners are in use.

Each year, MISO conducts an auction among power generators to set the capacity costs.

In Southern Illinois, the capacity prices jumped from $16.75 per megawatt-day to $150 per megawatt-day, which is 40 times higher than the rest of MISO’s 15-state footprint.

The executive director of the Citizens Utility Board has claimed consumers in Southern Illinois will pay 50 times more for capacity while the other 14 states within MISO would see a decrease in capacity prices to less than $3.50 per megawatt day.

Bradley says he’s hopeful the FERC investigation will have a positive outcome for Southern Illinois families who are needlessly overpaying to heat and cool their homes.