Lawmakers say they are hoping to have checks in the mail by September first. Customers will receive a lump sum amount credited on their bills. Officials say it's been a long process but one well worth it, they hope this money will ease the pain of the rate hike and help for years to come.
For customers like Barbara and Gordon Hannon it was news they've been waiting for.
House Speaker Michael Madigan made the announcement, "Our purpose is to announce a one billion dollar rate relief program for electric rate payers all across the state of Illinois."
Back at home the Hannon's will tell you it's been a struggle for their family. "I'm responsible for a daughter who is on disability and on an extremely fixed income and her rate increase was a great deal more drastic for her." They too are on a fixed income and have had to make cuts to make ends meet. "When i opened it it upset me I wasn't shocked at the increase but it upset me to double my power bills on top of gasoline prices and taxes."
Rate relief gave the Hannons a new hope for what's going on at the capitol knowing that it's people like them that are going to get some extra help.
"The whole thing impressed me if we can just do that with the budget now we'll be home free."
Illinois officials announced the details of an electric rate relief package putting money back into the hands of those hard hit by rate hikes.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan was excited to make the announcement, "We are very happy to announce that checks should be going out in the next few weeks to Ameren customers and all electric customers who have been hardest hit by this reverse auction."
The plan will be based on usage the more electricity you use the more you paid the greater your rebate is going to be. Ameren will also waive all late charges since January.
For customers it's a step in the right direction. The budget was addressed today.
Lawmakers say rate relief was a big ticket item on the budget and now that plans for that are underway they hope this brings them a step closer to a budget deal.
The package will need to pass in the house and the senate. Senate President Emil Jones said today the Governor will sign it.