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PSC approves Ameren R&D plan


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Public Service Commission approved an order Thursday that would allow Ameren Missouri to implement some changes in the MEEIA program, granting the right to use approximately $1.5 million for research and development.

Under the stipulation, about $400,000 of the R&D budget will be invested to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of using benchmarking of large commercial/industrial buildings as a tool to drive additional participation in approved energy efficiency programs.

Approximately $900,000 will be used to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of on-bill financing (“OBF”) of residential portfolio measures, while another $25,000 is to be invested in hiring an independent third-party consultant to perform a feasibility study of the Pay As You Save (“PAYS”) financing model, which is to be completed by June 2018.

The commission applauded the move, with Commissioner Scott Rupp saying he would encourage everyone to consider moving down this path in the future.

The PSC also approved an application which grants a certificate of convenience and necessity to Missouri-American Water Company (MAWC) to install, own, operate and maintain water and sewer systems in and around Wardsville.

MAWC is proposing to provide those services utilizing the water and sewer systems to be purchased from the Village of Wardsville for roughly 300 or more customers and would charge them the same rates that they are currently being charged.

“Based on the verified applications and Staff’s recommendations, the Commission concludes that the factors for granting a certificate of convenience and necessity to MAWC have been satisfied and that it is in the public’s interest for MAWC to provide water service to the customers currently being served by Wardsville,” the Commission stated.  “Further, the Commission finds that MAWC possesses adequate technical, managerial, and financial capacity to operate the water and sewer system it wishes to purchase from Wardsville.”

The PSC also approved Ameren Missouri’s application for a variance, in which they asked to modify the requirement that every gas service meter be inspected and tested at least once every 120 months. Ameren asked that the PSC eliminate the requirement that the maximum permissible sampling period be limited to thirty years. The PSC agreed, on the conditions that Ameren notify the PSC staff once the safety inspections are outlined and that they offer to do a courtesy safety inspection to all customers who have not had an inspection in the previous 30 years.

The commission approved an application authorizing Camden County Public Water Supply District No. 4 to acquire the existing water and sewer assets of Lake Region Water & Sewer Company (Lake Region). Lake Region is currently operated and managed by the District, serving just under 700 water customers in the Shawnee Bend area.

“Since the District currently provides the maintenance, repair and day-to-day operations and management of Lake Region’s facilities, the customers will not experience a reduced level of service or reliability,” the commission noted.

The commission also granted Summit Natural Gas’ request for a certificate of convenience and necessity, which would authorize Summit to construct and manage a natural gas distribution system providing gas services in Barry, Daviess, Laclede, Lawrence, Pettis, Stone, Taney, and Webster Counties.