Consumers Win Some, Lose More in 2012 Rate Case

Consumers didn’t fare so well under Ameren Missouri’s request for higher rates in 2013.  Small gains for consumers were overwhelmed by Ameren’s larger gains.

  • Consumers Council convinced the Public Service Commission to keep Ameren’s minimum customer service charge at $8.00 instead of Ameren’s proposed $12.00.  All customers pay this charge, no matter how much energy they use.
  • The Public Service Commission granted Ameren a profit of 9.8 percent.  That is higher than we wanted but still the lowest in Missouri history.  Ameren had asked to increase its profit (return on equity) to 10.75 percent.  Consumers Council and our allies advocated for 8 percent.
  • Consumers lost when the commission decided to approve a 10 percent, $260.2 million rate increase.  The increase took effect Jan. 2. On average, electric bills for the typical residential customer will rise by about $10 a month.
  • On the rather confusing issue of what is “transmission” and what is “transportation” the Public Service Commission sided with Ameren.  It is allowing the cost of new transmission projects to be added to a surcharge on all consumers – the fuel adjustment clause (FAC).  CCM’s position is that this illegal because the law allowing a FAC states “transportation” means moving a product and “transmission” does not involve the transportation of any product – any fuel.

In addition, the allowed transmission projects may violate Missouri’s law that doesn’t allow utilities to charge customers for building projects until they are in operation – commonly know as the “construction work in progress” – or CWIP — law.  CCM is considering appealing this issue at the state Western District Court of Appeals.

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