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Utility company

Ameren

(AEE) - Get Ameren Corporation Report

said residential customers will get the choice to either pay the full amount of higher electricity costs in 2007 or to phase in increases over a period of years.

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This plan and the earlier phase-in proposal would provide ways to soften the impact of 40% to 55% increases that are expected for Ameren Illinois utilities' residential customers in 2007.

Under the new plan, increases would be phased in at an annual maximum increase of 15% over three years or until the full amount of the rate increase is reached.

As part of its filings, the Ameren Illinois utilities have also proposed an additional contribution of $5 million to their Dollar More and Warm Neighbors programs, which provide bill paying assistance, energy conservation materials and rebates for energy efficient equipment.

This story was created through a joint venture between TheStreet.com and IRIS.