The state’s consumer advocate is asking utility regulators to cut Noranda Aluminum’s electric rate when they rule on Ameren Missouri’s request to raise rates by nearly 10 percent on the rest of its customers. The Office of Public Counsel filed its compromise proposal, originally conceived during Noranda’s rate fight with the St. Louis utility.
The Missouri Public Service Commission ruled against it, but they suggested the Southeast Missouri aluminum smelter and its consumer allies ask for the rate adjustment during Ameren’s larger rate case. Noranda says it needs the lower rate or it will close its smelter and lay off hundreds in the Missouri Bootheel. If the PSC agrees, customers would pay the difference, equal to about 1 percent.