Ameren: Illinois natural gas prices remain level

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) -- Ameren Illinois officials say natural gas prices this coming winter should be similar to what customers paid last winter.The utility is part of St. Louis-based Ameren Corp.Ameren Illinois customers paid 61 cents per therm last winter and the utility anticipates customers will pay an average of 62 cents per therm this coming winter.The Peoria, Ill.-based utility has 840,000 natural gas customers in 1,200 Illinois communities. Ameren Illinois representative Scott Glaeser attributes the moderation to several factors, including increased supply in North America, the sluggish economy and decreased global energy demand.Glaeser says Ameren Illinois has secured adequate natural gas supply for its customers this winter.