The proposal is designed to promote energy efficiency while still allowing the St. Louis-based utility to earn a profit. It has an estimated price tag of $145 million and it would be paid by the utility’s customers, whose residential bills on average would be about $3 a month higher. But Ameren Missouri’s Warren Wood says if approved, customers would save money in the long run.
“If we’re able to encourage greater energy efficiency where the customers bring down their demand for electricity, it can help us not need to build as much capacity or (as many) new generation plants," Wood said. "It can shift (back) the time frame for needing those plants.”
Wood says the plan could eventually save customers nearly half a billion dollars. Kevin Gunn chairs the Public Service Commission.
“Because we’re asking them to do what you wouldn’t ask any other business to do, which is sell less of their product, you have to remove the disincentive for them doing that," Gunn said. "We would allow them to recover some of the lost revenue that they would be getting from the energy that was reduced.”
The commission is expected to vote on Ameren Missouri’s efficiency plan before the end of the month.