Mid-Missouri customers will have the opportunity to weigh in on proposed rate increases from Ameren Missouri next month, a notice from the company says.
The investor-owned utility provider petitioned the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) for a regular rate adjustment, which allows companies to overhaul their rates every three years. The increase would bring in around $316 million in new gross from retail customers, with about $40.76 million of that increase based on adjustments to the company's fuel and purchasing power costs. The increase amounts to an 11.6 percent boost in revenues.
The initial filing in August launched the 11-month timeline for the PSC to consider and take action on the request. If approved, the request would increase Ameren's monthly fixed residential customer charge from $9 to $13 for regular users and those participating in overnight and evening or morning energy saver programs and $11 for those considered "smart savers." Those in the "ultimate savers" tier will remain at $9 a month.
Annual rates would increase by $147.43 for residential customers, $245-$6,024 for general service customers, and $40,712-$378,627 for primary services. Each increase would be between 11-12 percent of current rates.
The steep increase would allow the company to recover the cost of infrastructure upgrades, including Ameren's Smart Energy Plan focused on reliability and resiliency for customers, more flexible billing options and investments in clean energy generation and solar programs, according to Ameren.
"The electric system upgrades Ameren Missouri has made are crucial to ensuring our customers have safe and reliable energy during the continued transition to cleaner sources of generation," Ameren Missouri President and Chairman Mark Birk said in a prior statement. "Our customers depend on us to deliver reliable service, and they're seeing fewer outages with shorter durations, delivering up to a 40 percent improvement in reliability on circuits with innovative technology."
The company would also continue adjusting its fuel charge on electric bills three times a year, either crediting or billing them based on each customer's energy use and Ameren's energy costs. Usage charges are estimated to increase by $1.58 a month for most customers.
The PSC will host a public hearing at 6 p.m. Feb. 1 in Jefferson City at the Governor Office Building, 210 Madison St., Room 310. Those unable to attend the hearing may submit comments by mail to the Missouri Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 360, Jefferson City, Missouri, 65102, or by referencing file no. ER-2022-0337 when submitting a comment online at psc.mo.gov/General/SubmitComments.
The commission will also hold a hearing on April 3 in Jefferson City to hear evidence from relevant parties. The public is also welcome to attend and listen to the portions of the discussion that are not closed.
The proposed rate adjustment would help Ameren recover the cost of major infrastructure upgrades to increase resiliency and its continued focus on clean energy generation, according to the PSC. The increased revenue would go toward Ameren's Smart Energy Plan, through which the company installs smart switches that can redirect power in the case of an outage, an increased focus on renewable power generation and other reliability efforts.
The rate adjustment process sees the PSC and other stakeholders reviewing the proposal over the course of 11 months, beginning with the initial filing that took place in August.
Learn more online at psc.mo.gov/General/Upcoming_Local_Public_Hearings.