FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- August 22, 2019
Contact: Kevin Kelly (573) 751-9300
PSC Approves Agreement in Ameren Missouri Natural Gas Rate Case
JEFFERSON CITY---The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved an agreement reached by parties in a natural gas rate case filed last December by Ameren Missouri. Under the agreement, permanent annual natural gas revenues will drop by approximately $1 million for service on and after September 1, 2019. A typical residential customer using 100 Ccfs (per hundred cubic feet) of natural gas a month will see permanent rates drop by approximately $0.27 a month. When Ameren Missouri filed its natural gas rate request with the Public Service Commission on December 3, 2018, it sought to increase permanent annual natural gas revenues by approximately $4.26 million.
The $1 million permanent rate reduction approved under the agreement is an incremental increase from the interim rate reduction of $1.94 million approved by the Commission in late December. That interim rate reduction has remained in effect while the permanent rate case was considered by the Commission. The interim rate reduction appeared as a separate line item on the monthly natural gas bill as a credit. That credit will go away when new permanent rates take effect on September 1, 2019.
This rate case reflects savings associated with the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). The TCJA reduced the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%.
This rate case generally reflects “non-gas” costs. “Non-gas” costs are operating and maintenance expenses in providing natural gas to customers in a safe and useful form. It also includes a return on investment in plant (such as meters, mains and service lines that deliver natural gas to your home or business). The actual cost of the natural gas is NOT a part of this rate case. The wholesale cost of natural gas is unregulated. The Public Service Commission reviews the natural gas purchasing practices of Ameren Missouri to ensure prudent decisions are made in securing natural gas supplies for its customers.
As a result of the agreement, various energy efficiency programs for residential and general service customers will continue including the Income-Eligible Multifamily Subprogram and the Income-Eligible Weatherization Assistance Program. Ameren Missouri will also implement a Volume Indifference Reconciliation to Normal (VIRN) rate rider mechanism. The VIRN is intended to allow for periodic rate adjustments outside of a general rate case to reflect the effects of increases or decreases in certain customer usage due to variations in weather, conservation or both. The VIRN will appear on customer bills as the “Delivery Charge Adjustment” or DCA.
Ameren Missouri provides natural gas service to approximately 131,000 customers in 25 Missouri counties (Audrain, Bollinger, Boone, Butler, Callaway, Cape Girardeau, Cole, Cooper, Dent, Gasconade, Howard, Lincoln, Miller, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, Phelps, Pike, Ralls, Randolph, St. Charles, Saline, Scott, Stoddard and Warren).