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Ameren UE wants another rate hike

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By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Hearings began today before the Missouri Public Service Commission on Ameren UE's request for another rate hike.

The St. Louis-based utility wants to raise rates by just over 12 percent, which would bring in an additional $251 million dollars.

Ameren spokesman Mike Cleary says the rate hike would add an extra $9 to the average power bill.

"Even if we're given the entire amount that we've requested, our rates will still be well below the national average...right now, they're 40% below the national average and would still be low by national standards," Cleary said.

PSC Executive Director Wes Henderson says feedback from customers at several public hearings included complaints about the proposed rate hike.

"Some of the comments, I think, were just, you know, 'Any increase will be a burden on people right now,'" Henderson said.

Henderson summarized that economic conditions contributed to negative feedback.

"At that time, gas prices (were) going up, (the) cost of food and everything (was) going up," Henderson said.

In May of 2007, the Public Service Commission approved a rate hike of $45 million, which was much smaller than Ameren's requested hike at the time of $361 million.

A decision on the latest request is expected early next year.

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