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Ameren gas customers will pay more

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By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Missourians who get their natural gas from Ameren will pay more, starting today (Thursday).

The Public Service Commission says the increase will amount to an average of about $10 a month.

Ameren has 92,000 gas customers in 17 Missouri counties. P>The hike is the utility's response to rising wholesale cost of gas, which accounts for 65-80% of customers' bills. Companies are allowed to pass the cost along to customers without needing approval from state regulators.

This is the first time since last November that St. Louis-based Ameren-UE has raised the cost of gas for its Missouri customers. Refunds would be made if the wholesale price declines.

Hurricane Katrina is blamed for this week's increase. The U.S. Minerals Management Service said Wednesday that 91% of the Gulf of Mexico's oil output is out of service, with 83% of natural gas production shut down.

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