Bill would allow annual utility rate increases

4 years 6 months 1 day ago Saturday, March 19 2016 Mar 19, 2016 Saturday, March 19, 2016 12:55:36 PM CDT March 19, 2016 in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow utilities to raise customers' rates every year with less control by regulators.

Proponents of the measure say the increases will be more predictable and subject to yearly limits.

The Kansas City Star reports that opponents say customers would almost be guaranteed an increase every year and that the bill's yearly limits likely wouldn't protect consumers.

Utilities have long had to submit detailed rate requests and justify their costs to the Public Service Commission, which then has granted what the commission thought were "reasonable and just" rates, usually covering some but not all of the request.

The new proposal would allow utilities to choose to submit such expenses for the past year and, unless the regulators proved the costs "imprudent."

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