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PSC approves Ameren rate change delay

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a request from Ameren Missouri for a delay in transferring customers to a new rate plan. 

Ameren requested a five-month delay in its time-of-use rates from becoming permanent rates for customers and permission to cease printing beginning and ending readings on bills for customers using advanced metering infrastructure meters. Commission Staff expressed concerns about the company’s public outreach efforts to educate customers on the new rates but stated it did not oppose the requests. 

The commission approved the delay and eliminated the printing requirement during Thursday’s agenda meeting, mandating regular status updates from the company on the program going forward. 

Staff investigated Spire Missouri’s customer service and record-keeping practices over the past year, outlining issues with call center representatives and record storage in a report filed in October. The commission ordered Spire to submit a formal implementation plan in addition to status reports on personnel training improvements. 

The commission ordered Staff to file a report on Spire’s application to establish an on-bill financing and cost recovery mechanism to compensate for investments into cost-effective energy efficiency programs. Staff was in the process of reviewing the company’s request and was given until Dec. 14 to file its recommendation.

The Empire District Electric Company requested approval of its true-up filings from December 2019 through May of this year. The company intended to refund more than $2.5 million to customers for overcollections during that period through credits and discounts over the next year. Commission Staff recommended the filing’s approval, saying the company was up to date in its filing and had put forth an adequate plan, and the commission approved the filing. 

The PSC dismissed two customer complaint cases involving the City of St. Louis Water Division saying the utility district was outside of the PSC’s jurisdiction. 

Additionally, the PSC denied a request from Ameren to consolidate two of its rate cases, one over fuel and the other over energy. The commission found the two services were distinct enough to warrant their own cases. 

The next PSC agenda meeting is set for Nov. 24. Commissioners said they would continue to meet remotely due to COVID-19.