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AARP Missouri Works Tirelessly to Fight Rate Hikes

AARP Missouri has been working tirelessly to protect utility ratepayers across the state from rate increases and to preserve/restore consumer protections. Find out how we are battling to save members and the public money – and improve consumer rights.

See Also: Fighting to Save You Money on Utilities

KCP&L, the electric utility serving 47 northwestern Missouri and eastern Kansas Counties, requested an area rate increase of $92 million – the fourth requested increase in six years. The case decision was issued by the Public Service Commission (PSC) on April 12 and allowed a $34 million increase. “We successfully kept the customer charge (the fixed portion of the customer’s electric bill) down to $9.00 through our rate design settlement,” said John Coffman, AARP Missouri utility consultant. “This is good for residential low users of electricity and helps to encourage conservation.”

On the eastern side of Missouri, evidentiary hearings are taking place for an Ameren Missouri request for an 8% electric rate increase that totals $263 million. Ameren Missouri provides electric service to customers across 64,000 square miles in Missouri and Illinois.

“Another hot issue,” said Coffman, “is Ameren’s request to include ‘enhancement’ costs for the rebuilding of the Taum Sauk reservoir.” Ameren admitted to “errors in judgment” when the reservoir was allowed to overflow in 2005, destroying it and much of the state park. The utility, at that time, promised that the public would be “held harmless” from the disaster. “Now they claim that they have built the reservoir back, better than before, and that the public should pay for the ‘enhanced’ value. AARP and others disagree with that assessment,” Coffman stated.

On another front, AARP has criticized the utilities and the Public Service Commission for proposing a weakening of consumer protections regarding billing errors, estimated bills, the Cold Weather Rule, and other rules governing the interactions between utilities and their customers. Coffman explained, “In March of this year, AARP filed 20 pages of comments about these issues which are still not resolved.”

To keep abreast of utility actions in the state, visit AARP MO often. The most current information will be posted under AARP MO Blog.

Missouri Public Service Commission

Fair Energy Rate Action Fund

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