Plan to Raise Ameren Rates, Cut Energy Use, Awaits State OK

ST. LOUIS – A plan that would increase consumer’s electric rates by 3 percent a year, and improve energy efficiency, is waiting for approval by state regulators, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The plan came out of years of discussions among consumer advocates, environmental groups and the St. Louis-based energy giant. Ameren scaled back a previous energy efficiency program last year because it lost money from energy sales.

The new proposal calls for a 3 percent increase in electric rates for customers using 1000 kilowatt-hours a month. At the same time that rates ramp up, Ameren says its three-year efficiency program would save 800,000 megawatt hours of electricity and about $500 million in fuel and infrastructure costs–benefits that would be shared between Ameren and consumers.

As the Post-Dispatch reports:

The company’s current proposal, filed with the PSC in January, is the outgrowth of the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act. The 2009 measure lets utilities earn the same return on energy efficiency investments that it does when it builds a new power plant.

Ameren aspires to be the first utility in Missouri to implement an energy efficiency program under the law.

“What it really does is it sets it up as a business case,” Wood said. “I consider it a very significant step forward for the state’s energy policy.”

 


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