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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.