New electricity rates could climb 20 percent

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Illinois Commerce Commission says its decision to hold the state's first-ever public energy auction will benefit consumers.

The auction ran September Fifth through the Eighth.

It kicks off the state's first electricity rate hike in more than a decade.

The new rates will go into effect in January, and they'll be announced this evening, along with the auction's winning bidder.

Experts have predicted that electricity bills for Com-Ed and Ameren customers could climb at least 20 percent after a ten-year freeze on electricity rates expires.

Com-Ed serves three-point-seven (M) million customers across northern Illinois, while Ameren serves one-point-two million customers in southern and central Illinois.