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Proposal would require utilities to pay back for outages

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(UPI file photo/Bill Greenblatt)
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An Ameren crew repairs power lines following a major storm in July 2006 that left many customers in the dark for more than a week.

By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, Mo. – A proposal before the Missouri Public Service Commission would require utilities to provide credits to customers who endure prolonged or frequent power outages.

The commission is expected to consider whether to move forward with the rule in the next several weeks.

The rule covers various issues on power reliability. But one element likely to generate strong feelings on both sides is the requirement that utilities provide customer credits in some cases.

The proposed rule says investor-owned electric companies like Ameren and Aquila must restore power after a major storm within five days.

For problems during normal weather, the lights should come back on in 16 hours. If not, utilities generally would credit customers the greater of $25 or their fixed monthly charge.

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