Ameren customers in Missouri to pay more on electric bills

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COLUMBIA - All of Ameren's one million-plus customers in Missouri are going to start paying more for electrical service after it made the decision to increase rates this week.

The average customer will see a $6.50-$7.00 increase on his or her monthly bill; however, not all of that money is going straight to Ameren.

From that increase, $1 a month will go toward saving Noranda, an aluminum company that has been pushing for a subsidy for the last couple years, on their electrical bill. The Public Service Commission passed the deal and has not commented at this time.

Ameren didn't want this additional $1 increase to its service; executives believe it is a bailout for Noranda.

Warren Wood, Ameren's VIP of External Affairs and Communications, said the company "strongly oppose[s]" this new increase.

Wood also stated four major investments the company is making led to the decision to increase electrical rates:

 

  1. Solar Power - Ameren is trying to move into cleaner sources of energy. It will use the O'Fallon Renewable Energy Center to start doing that with solar power.
  2. Clean Air Equipment - Labadie Energy Center in Franklin County requires upkeep in order to further reduce emissions and make the air cleaner.
  3. Replacement of Obsolete Substations - Ameren said building new substations and upgrading existing substations will allow the company to provide more dependable service.
  4. Carbon-Free Energy - The reactor vessel head at Callaway Energy Center needs to be replaced in order to ensure its continued safe and reliable operation.
Annually, this means the average Ameren customer will pay about $80 more, with $12 of that going to Noranda.
According to its website, Ameren serves 1,193,434 customers. Therefore, this increase will net the company anywhere from $6.6 million to $7.2 million monthly and between $78.8 million and $85.9 million.
Noranda will save over $1 million a month and over $14 million a year as a result of this subsidy.
Correction: This article previously suggested Noranda would be making money from this deal. They will actually be saving the amount of money indicated in the story. The proper changes have been made to the story and KOMU 8 regrets the error.

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