Missouri PSC approves $140M rate increase for Ameren Missouri electric customers
Ameren Missouri’s nearly 1.3 million electric power customers will be paying more in the near future but exactly how much more, and when the rates will take effect, has yet to be determined, the Missouri Public Service Commission said in a news release Thursday.
The commission approved a plan for the utility to increase revenues by $140 million annually. Each rate class will see the same percentage increase, but Ameren Missouri must file a particular rate schedule before the exact increase is available, the release stated. The proposal for rates will also include an effective date.
The $9 monthly charge for service will not increase, the news release stated.
The rate hike is about 44% of the total sought by the utility when it filed for a $316 million rate increase in August 2022. The company cited increased investments, higher cost for borrowing and higher depreciation costs as reasons for the rate increase.
The initial rate request was opposed by several groups representing environmental groups and utility customers. The rate increase approved Thursday is a consent agreement between Ameren and those intervening parties.
The order protects customers by requiring the utility to report avoided costs if it shuts down its coal-fired Sioux Energy Center in St. Charles County or the Labadie Energy Center in Franklin County before their scheduled retirement, the Sierra Club stated in a news release after the decision.
The plan also sets a goal for reducing disconnections in zip codes with high rates of utility shutoffs.
The decision keeps in place Ameren’s time-of-use program, which offers residential customers the opportunity to pay lower rates for using power in off-peak times. Customers with advanced metering are eligible for the program and if they do not enroll, they will pay a default rate for all power.
The default rate will also be the residential rate for new customers and those without advanced metering, the release stated.
The rate-increase plan also commits Ameren to increasing its customer assistance programs for senior citizens and low-income weatherization efforts, allowing 50% of the cost of those programs to be included in customer rates.
“Today’s outcome was made possible by the thousands of customers who spoke out on the unnecessary rate increases in the face of mounting utility disconnections and record stock prices for Ameren shareholders,” Jenn DeRose, Missouri campaign representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign said in the release.
In February, Ameren announced that its profits on Missouri operations increased 8.1% in 2022, to $562 million. The company also has an electric power utility in Illinois and natural gas utilities in Missouri and Illinois.
For all operations, the company reported profits of almost $1.1 billion, an increase of 8.5% over 2021 results.
Ameren provides electricity to approximately 1.29 million customers in Missouri, mainly in cities in the eastern half of the state.
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