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Missouri Residents May See Electric Bills Increase

By Lauren Bale

Ameren Missouri has asked the Missouri Public Service Commis­sion for permission to increase its rates.

Residents will have to pay $14 more per month if the Commission approves the request.

The utility company attorney, Jim Lowery, said at a Thursday, Sept. 27, hearing in Jefferson City that the company has been denied “reasona­ble opportunity to earn.”

Public Counsel attorney Lewis Mills opposes the rate increase. He said Ameren can get away with in­creasing rates only because the company has no competitors.

“The only reason they can in­crease the cost of doing business by 10 percent in a year’s time is be­cause they are a regulated company. Competitive companies would not be able to get away with that,” Mills said.

Diana Vuylsteke, an attorney representing Missouri Industrial Energy Consumers, said Ameren has requested greater funds than it needs.

“In the present case the evidence shows that Ameren overstates its revenue requirement by 170 million dollars, or 45 percent,” she said.

Lowery said the rate increase would help fund new technology to improve reliability.

The commission will make a deci­sion on Ameren’s request after the hearings end on Oct. 12.

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