FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- March 08, 2017
Contact: Kevin Kelly (573) 751-9300
PSC Approves Agreement Reached
in Ameren Missouri Electric Rate Case
JEFFERSON CITY---The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved a unanimous agreement filed by parties in an electric rate case which authorizes Ameren Missouri to increase annual electric operating revenues by approximately $92 million. The rate increase is expected to take effect on April 1, 2017. The agreement approved by the Commission was submitted by the Office of the Public Counsel (which represents the general public before the Commission), the PSC Staff, Ameren Missouri, several large and small customers of Ameren Missouri as well as other consumer and environmental groups. The Commission’s vote was 5-0.
When Ameren Missouri filed its rate request on July 1, 2016, it sought to increase annual electric operating revenues by approximately $206.4 million. In its filing, Ameren Missouri stated the main drivers for the requested rate increase included new capital investment on Ameren Missouri’s system covering significant generation, transmission and distribution projects, higher transmission operator charges, reduced revenues from Ameren Missouri’s largest customer and reduced revenues due to reduced demand on Ameren Missouri’s system.
As part of its rate request, Ameren Missouri sought continuation of the Fuel Adjustment Clause (FAC). Under the agreement approved by the Commission, the FAC will be continued. This allows Ameren Missouri to adjust customer bills up to three times a year to reflect any change (increase or decrease) in fuel and purchased power costs.
Under the agreement approved by the Commission, the budget for a program (called Keeping Current) designed to provide bill payment assistance to eligible low-income customers will increase by approximately $250,000 above its 2016 budget of approximately $1 million. The agreement also includes continuation of a low-income weatherization program.
According to the PSC Staff, a typical residential customer will see monthly electric bills increase by approximately $3.70. That includes an increase of $1.00 a month in the fixed monthly customer charge for residential customers. The current fixed monthly customer charge for residential customers is $8.00 a month. The fixed monthly customer charge covers a portion of the fixed costs to provide service to a customer whether or not service is actually used.
Also under the agreement, Ameren Missouri will separately show and label the customer and volumetric charges on residential and small general service class customer bills, and will update its website to include more transparent billing information.
As indicated by the parties at an on-the-record proceeding held by the Commission on March 2, 2017, the agreed-upon return on equity for Ameren Missouri falls within a range of 9.2 to 9.7 percent. The Commission determined this range is implicit in the parties’ stipulation and is reasonable in light of the overall settlement.
Ameren Missouri serves approximately 1.26 million electric customers in 60 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis.