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Ameren, other utilities get okay to raise rates with fuel cost hikes

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By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The agency that regulates utilities in Missouri has approved a plan to let electric companies raise their rates - without a cap - when fuel costs go up.

Utilities have always been able to seek general rate increases. But the new plan lets them use fuel costs to increase rates, even if other costs fall and they're earning profits. The Missouri Public Service Commission approved the change by a 3-2 vote Thursday.

Consumer groups say that will result in higher rates. But utilities like Ameren say the change is needed because fuel costs are so high.

Still, rates won't increase immediately. Electric companies first have to go before the PSC and seek a general rate increase. Once they get the commission's approval, they can increase rates when fuel costs go up.

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