St. Louis Public Radio News
6:28 pm
Tue June 8, 2010

Advocates call for more energy efficiency in Mo.

Jefferson City, Mo. – Environmental advocates are calling on the Missouri Public Service Commission to adopt new regulations to promote energy efficiency.

If adopted, investor-owned utilities, such as AmerenUE, could require their customers to use energy-efficient lighting, appliances and building improvements.

Erin Noble is Director of the group Renew Missouri, which is a project of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. She says utilities would also provide customers with incentives.

"Whether they wanted to give incentives to businesses, for instance, to update their lighting, or whether they wanted to target residential customers through energy audits and better insulation, it's a market-driven policy," Noble said.

Noble also said such measures could save Missourians more than $4 billion in energy costs over a 12-year period, and could create more than 3,500 jobs.

PSC Chairman Robert Clayton says the commission does not have the authority to order utilities to mandate energy-efficient practices.

"What we can do is...require utilities to look at energy efficiency in a new aggressive manner, set up programs that will allow for more compact fluorescent light bulbs to be distributed to customers, perhaps looking at smart-grid technologies," Clayton said.

Clayton adds that the Public Service Commission is currently looking into various programs designed to get customers to reduce energy usage.