JEFFERSON CITY — Overwhelmed Missouri regulators are suspending a short-lived method of gathering public comment on proposed utility rate increases.
Customers of Missouri Gas Energy have returned thousands of comment cards included with their bills to the Missouri Public Service Commission. And more comments are likely since only about one-third of the customers have received the cards so far.
Regulators say many customers apparently believed they were being asked to vote on a proposed rate increase. And some sent the cards back along with money to pay their utility bills.
The PSC decided Wednesday to suspend the postcard program. Customers will still be able to comment on proposed rate hikes at public hearings and on the commission's Web site.