The Missouri Public Service Commission holds a public hearing tonight in St. Louis that gives residents a chance to weigh in on a utility battle that will likely affect how much they pay for electricity. There are two dueling narratives:
That Ameren has been “overearning” for years by collecting more money than allowed from its customers and is preparing to ask for permission to increase electrical rates even more;
That Noranda Aluminum – the state’s largest user of electricity — is unfairly seeking a 25 percent cut in its electrical rates, which could force Ameren to raise rates for everybody else.
Noranda says its real aim is to stay in business in a competitive aluminum market and to force electrical rate cuts for all Ameren customers. Ameren says the New York-based hedge fund controlling Noranda is seeking to milk more profits by shifting electrical costs to other Missouri consumers.