Egyptian Electric raises rates by 5 percent

By Gus Bode

While Ameren and Commonwealth Edison battle state policy makers to increase their electricity rates, one local power company bumped up its prices at the start of the month on its own.

Bryce Cramer, a manager at Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association, said his company raised its rates by 5 percent April 1. The surcharge will be reflected on customers’ bills in May, he said.

An increase in demand for electricity, shortage of power plants and new policies are forcing the company to raise its rates, Egyptian Electric General Manager Mark Stallons said in the April issue of Illinois Country Living magazine. Egyptian publishes and distributes the magazine to all of its customers, Cramer said.


Egyptian Electric serves 26,200 customers in southern Illinois. They are a division of Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, which owns 640 similar operations in 48 states.

Sean Trulzsch, a senior from Antioch studying aviation, said he is not concerned about the increase so long as it would not push his bill over $200 per month. He said his bill from Egyptian for electricity in March was $175. A 5 percent increase would put Trulzsch’s March bill around $184.

“It’s not as bad to what everyone else is paying,” Trulzsch said.

This is the second time within two months a power company has given those reasons for increasing power rates in southern Illinois. During a hearing of the Illinois Commerce Commission in February at the Williamson County Pavilion, Ameren Vice President Craig Nelson said his company was requesting an increase in their delivery charges for electricity and gas because prices of operation were increasing.

State Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, said Ameren’s request was strictly about making a profit.

Utility providers with a board of directors elected by stockholders, such as Ameren or ComEd, are required to receive approval from the commerce commission before a rate increase. The commission and Bradley hosted February’s hearing for customers to voice their opinion about Ameren’s request, which would go into effect in October if approved.

But Cramer said Egyptian is a not-for-profit electric cooperative, which does not require approval from the commission because volunteer customers elect the board of directors instead of stockholders.


“The bottom line is that an electric cooperative is structured to serve its local member owners who receive electricity from the cooperative as opposed to serving a shareholder from anywhere in the world,” Cramer said in an e-mail.

Daily Egyptian wrter Barton Lorimor can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 274 or [email protected].