Ameren Missouri will take advantage of new state regulations and start collecting deposits for new customers based on credit scores, and other utilities could follow suit beginning next month.
In Missouri, Ameren and other utilities have, in effect, only been allowed to require deposits from customers who haven’t paid bills in the past. If new customers could show they own or are buying a house, had a full-time job for a year or a regular source of income, utilities couldn’t require a deposit under the existing rules.
Those criteria were difficult to verify, Ameren said in a filing asking for the new rules with the Missouri Public Service Commission. “Effectively, these criteria mean that Ameren Missouri does not collect deposits from new applicants,” it wrote.
However, those criteria were dear to consumer advocates, who fought behind the scenes for years to keep them.