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    A little over a week after the company defended its record-high rate hike request in front of a committee that included multiple skeptical City Council members, Peoples Gas Company was denied its request for a nearly $404 million rate increase on Thursday.

    Some alderpeople and utility watchdog group representatives celebrated the decision by the Illinois Commerce Commission to rein in the hike by pausing the pipeline replacement program that Peoples Gas said accounted for over half of the revenue being sought.

    The ICC reduced Peoples Gas’ request by $101 million and also approved a 9.38 percent return on equity (ROE) for the company, down from the company’s requested 9.9 percent ROE, cutting shareholders’ profitability.

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