Rates have gone up and service has decreased for Laclede Gas customers following its parent company’s purchase of a large Alabama natural gas utility, an investigation from Missouri regulators has found.
The report from the staff of the Missouri Public Service Commission found that Laclede Gas’ holding company improperly allocated costs to the natural gas utility in connection with the purchase of Alagasco.
The holding company, St. Louis-based Spire, which recently changed its name from the Laclede Group, also used services from Laclede Gas to run the Alabama utility and the parent company, the report found, thereby driving up rates for St. Louis area customers.
The PSC staff also says that Spire should have sought approval from Missouri utility regulators for its $1.6 billion purchase of Alagasco, which closed two years ago.
Spire, in a statement, said its acquisitions have improved service and lowered costs across its natural gas utilities.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch