Public hearings , with more to come, by the Missouri Public Service Commission on the question of a 14.6 percent rate increase that Ameren Missouri has requested.
Patch reported a statement by Ameren Missouri's CEO, Warner Baxter, noting that "our customers have consistently told us that reliability is their highest priority and that they also want cleaner air."
He said investments in the company's infrastructure have yielded those results.
But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported from a hearing on Thursday that residents aren't so sure they can swallow another increase by the region's dominent electric utility.
The Post-Dispatch reported: "If there was a common thread among the dozens of speakers, it was this: Budgets of ordinary Missourians can’t bend any further. Not after electric rate increases totaling 30 percent since 2006. 'There’s no way that we can keep up with the requests that have been made (by Ameren) over the last four or five years,' said Susan Turk of St. Louis."
More public hearings are scheduled around the state (see the attached PDF for a schedule).
The utility wants the increase for $700 million in poles, wires and additional infrastructure improvements it says will boost reliability. The public service commission's staff recommended a $210 million increase.
Do you think Ameren should get the increase it sought? Can you make some room in your budget for this increase?