electric rates

(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

On Tuesday night at Harris Stowe University, St. Louis area residents will finally get a chance to weigh in on a utility battle that – one way or another -- will likely affect how much they pay for electricity.

Conducted by Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC), which oversees utilities, the 6 p.m. hearing will center on two dueling narratives:

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation has stalled in the Missouri Senate that would allow investor-owned electric companies to charge consumers for infrastructure improvements.

Opponents argued that Ameren Missouri, Empire District and Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) make enough money to pay for improvements without levying an Infrastructure System Replacement Surcharge (ISRS) on their customers.  Several Senators are blocking the measure, including Republican Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph.

Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate energy committee has advanced legislation that would let power companies seek permission for an infrastructure surcharge.

Under legislation approved by the committee with two dissenting votes Wednesday, power companies could seek to levy the surcharge between formal rate cases.

(via Flickr/[F]oxymoron)

Triple-digit temperatures means Missouri utilities cannot shut off customers' electricity for unpaid bills.

Missouri regulators said Friday that state law ensures consumers cannot have their electricity turned off during extreme heat. The policy kicks in when forecasts call for temperatures above 95 or a heat index above 105 degrees.

Officials reported scattered complaints Thursday about some utilities seeking to disconnect customers' power. The Public Service Commission says it is not aware of anyone whose electricity was turned off.


(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Pat Quinn wants the "monkey business" of absentee voting by Illinois lawmakers investigated after the
Illinois House overrode his veto on legislation that will raise electric rates to pay to modernize the state's power grid.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Updated 4:38 with more information about the legislation.

Illinois lawmakers have approved major changes to the state's electricity system over Gov. Pat Quinn's veto.

Both the House and Senate voted to override the governor Wednesday.

They rejected Quinn's argument that the legislation guarantees unfair profits to power companies and seriously weakens the oversight power of state regulators.

(via Flickr/lobo235)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

The Illinois Senate has approved changes intended to help revive electricity legislation vetoed by the governor.

The changes passed 37-20 Tuesday, despite opposition from Gov. Pat Quinn.

At issue is a plan to let power companies raise rates to pay for infrastructure improvements, including high-tech changes called "Smart Grid." Critics say the plan guarantees unfair profits and weakens state regulators.

(via Flickr/lobo235)

Reporting from WCBU's Denise Molina-Weiger used in this report.

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn is traveling the state urging lawmakers to uphold his veto on a measure that allows Ameren and ComEd to automatically raise electric rates on consumers. The utilities say the rate increases are necessary to help pay for modernizing Illinois’ power grid.

(via Flickr/lobo235)

Updated 1:25 p.m.

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford used in this report.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has followed through on his promise to veto legislation electric utilities fought hard to pass.  Quinn says it would be too costly for power customers.

(via Flickr/lobo235)

Legislation to raise electric rates to help pay to modernize the state's power grid is on its way to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has repeatedly promised to veto it because of the burden it places on consumers.

(via Flickr/[F]oxymoron)

 Opponents of Ameren Illinois’ $90 million rate increase request are gearing up for a hard fight.

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) and the AARP held a series of press conferences today to explain why they want state regulators to reject the proposal. Ameren Illinois is asking for an exorbitant “return on equity,” which is the allowed profit rate for shareholders, according to CUB senior policy analyst Bryan McDaniel.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

MoDOT building that will be shuttered in restructuring could get new life

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission yesterday approved a five-year reduction plan that will eliminate 1200 jobs and close 131 facilities - including district offices in Macon, Joplin and Willow Springs. But the building in Joplin could get see new life fairly quickly. The AP reports that MoDOT director Kevin Keith has offered the building to the Joplin School District, which saw a half-dozen buildings destroyed or damaged in the May 22 F5 tornado.

Keith says agency employees who would be in the building when school starts would be relocated to temporary quarters.