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State

Ameren rate drop prompts some to rethink options

CHAMPAIGN — A drop in Ameren Illinois rates has some downstate communities taking another look at where they get their electricity.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that Ameren likely will drop electric-supply rates about 7 percent next month, on top of a decrease scheduled for October.

That means that Ameren may offer better prices than some alternative suppliers.

Hundreds of Illinois communities bundle residential and small business customers to buy cheaper electricity in bulk from smaller suppliers. But Ameren's proposed rate for June through September is lower than what many cities brokered, and the rate taking effect in October is even lower.

Champaign plans to put its aggregation program on hold for at least a year, meaning customers will be automatically switched to Ameren.

Nearby Urbana will stay on the municipal rate.

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