Consumer Group Criticizes Ameren Missouri Rate Plan

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JEFFERSON CITY - Utility customer advocates complained Thursday that Ameren Missouri has made another request to increase rates.   An Ameren Missouri spokesperson said the company needs to increase rates because its expenditures keep increasing, even with a down economy.  The company cites EPA regulations and keeping facilities up to date is the primary reasons why Ameren Missouri can't afford to pay those costs without a rate increase.

Bob Quinn, board member of the consumer group "Fair Energy Rate Action Fund," said Ameren Missouri has been able to increase its rates too easily over the past five years.  Quinn said that prior to that period, Ameren Missouri's rates barely increased. But over the past five years, Quinn said rates have increased more than 35 percent.  Quinn said consumers are already having hard times paying their electricity bills and another increase will hurt consumers even more. 

Ameren Missouri said even though there have been increases, it is still 30 percent below the national average with its electricity costs.