Posted: Aug 1, 2012 2:57 PM by Joe Chiodo
Updated: Aug 2, 2012 7:30 AM
ST. LOUIS — The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Ameren Missouri's proposed energy efficiency programs Wednesday, giving the state's largest utility the green light to pursue the most significant energy savings in the state's history. Ameren is investing $147 million into the project over the next three years.
Ameren is projecting to create nearly $500 million in total customer benefits over the next 20 years. According to a press release, residential and business customers will have the chance to lower their energy consumption and their electric bills.
"Energy efficiency is a win-win all around," said PJ Wilson, Director of Renew Missouri, in that press release. "Today's announcement is an opportunity for ratepayers, utilities, environmentalists and local businesses to celebrate the shared benefits of Ameren's efficiency plan moving forward."
Ameren's programs are the first part of the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA), which was established in 2009. Missouri was ranked 44th in energy efficiency in 2011, but with the implementation of this new program, the ranking could improve.
Non-profit organizations including Renew Missouri, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Missouri Chapter of the Sierra Club represented the interests of clean energy and the environment in negotiations between the utility, state agencies and ratepayer advocates.
"Ameren's expanded energy efficiency program means lower utility bills, cleaner air and more jobs for Missouri," said the Sierra Club's Missouri Chapter Director John Hickey. "This is the direction that Ameren should be taking - expanding investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, while reducing its dependence on dirty coal."
Ratepayers wil notice an increase in their bill by about $2 - $3. This will pay for the efficiency investments, but the programs will ultimately save customers money.