Category: Utilities

Response: Lifeline Phones Fulfill Name, But Program Needs Better Oversight

Commentary in The Beacon, July 22, 2013 Many challenges face the future of the Universal Service Fund Lifeline telephone program, which extends affordable, discounted telecommunication service to elderly people, people with low incomes or disabilities, and those receiving government assistance. It has been successful in connecting and keeping millions of customers on the telecommunications network and thereby linked to 21st century life. Unfortunately, Lifeline, as with many ...

Ameren Missouri Ordered To Refund $26.3 Million on Customers’ Bills

Associate Press, August 1, 2013 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. • State regulators have determined that Ameren Missouri owes its electric customers slightly more than $26 million for failing to include some revenue in its calculations. The Missouri Public Service Commission on Wednesday approved an order for the St. Louis-based company to refund the money to customers. But Ameren Missouri won't be sending out checks. Instead, the $26.3 million will be applied by adjusting a fuel charg ...

Consumers Win With Governor’s Veto

Today, Wednesday, July 10, Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the bill that would have cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars more in our gas utility bills over the next five years. Please THANK HIM NOW! Click here to email the Governor to thank him. Or call him at 573-751-3222. By vetoing SB 240 Governor Nixon prevented gas utilities from adding more costly surcharges to consumers' bills.  He also maintained the current balance in the rate process that gives consumers a ...

Laclede Agrees to Forgo Gas Rate Hike

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 1, 2013 Gas-distribution rates would remain unchanged for Laclede Gas Co. customers under a settlement between the utility and consumer advocates that was submitted to the Public Service Commission on May 31. The St. Louis-based gas utility had sought a $48.4 million rate increase in December that would have raised the typical residential customer bill an average of $4.93 a month. But Laclede said it can live without an increase for now. In ...

Testimony: CCM Cautions St. Louis on Contract for City Water Division

CCM Board Member Renee Marver presented the following testimony before the Public Utilities Committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Wednesday, July 2: Good evening.  My name is Renee Marver.  I am a resident of the City of St. Louis and member of the Consumers Council of Missouri Board of Directors. Consumers Council of Missouri is a statewide membership organization that focuses much of its advocacy on protecting utility consumers -- consumers who deserve safe and ad ...

Editorial Urges Veto of Gas Surcharge Bill

Excerpted from St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial, May 30, 2013 The Utility Handouts Early in the session, before lawmakers were fully educated on the dangers of single-issue rate-making in the case of monopoly gas and electric utilities, the Missouri Senate passed SB 240, which would do two bad things for consumers. First, it would expand the existing ability of gas utility companies to charge consumers an extra surcharge to pay for underground pipes and other infrastructure. ...

Despite Likely Accord, Gas Hearings Set

Although a tentative agreement on Laclede Gas Co.'s rate case has been reached witht he company, the Public Service Commission staff and the Office of Public Counsel, hearings are still scheduled to be held in the St. Louis Region. Click here for the calendar of hearings. ...

Laclede Gas: Rate Case Settlement Near

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 20, 2013 Laclede Gas Co. has an agreement in principle with the Missouri Public Service Commission staff and Office of Public Counsel to settle its request to boost natural gas rates by $48.4 million. The utility filed notice of the agreement with the PSC on Monday, and said it would “resolve all outstanding matters” in the case. Terms were not disclosed. A formal stipulation and agreement or an update on the status of negotiations with PSC sta ...

Editorial: The Utility Shell Game

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 6, 2013 A bipartisan group of lawmakers is blocking a bill that would allow Ameren Missouri to raise electric rates on consumers more quickly with less regulatory oversight. Good for them. Now they should also block Senate Bill 240, which expands the ability of regulated gas utilities, such as Laclede Gas and Ameren, to raise rates outside the normal rate-case process. The bill would hit residential and small-business consumers the hardest. It is, qu ...

PSC Staff Analysis of Legislation Confirms Consumers’ Fears

ST. LOUIS, Mo., April 8, 2013 -- An analysis by the staff of the Public Service Commission finds that under legislation pending in the Missouri General Assembly consumers would have to pay higher rates faster for electric utility infrastructure investments and would lose protections afforded under current law. “These are exactly the points we at Consumers Council of Missouri have been making as we educate the public and legislators about the dangers of piecemeal ratemaking,” sai ...

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