Ameren Missouri increasing natural gas rates

Thursday, January 20, 2011 | 8:02 p.m. CST; updated 11:59 a.m. CST, Friday, January 21, 2011

*CORRECTION: The Public Service Commission approved a $9 million total increase in revenue that includes a surcharge already paid by Ameren Missouri customers. An earlier version of this article included the wrong figure.

COLUMBIA — Ameren Missouri natural gas customers will see their future monthly bills increase by about $3.30.

The state Public Service Commission approved the rate increase Thursday that will allow Ameren an additional $9 million* in revenue, Ameren Missouri spokesman Mike Cleary said.

The increase, though, won't hit customers as hard because they have already paid some of it in the form of an infrastructure system replacement surcharge - a line item on their monthly bills , Cleary said.

Roughly $3.4 million will come from the surcharge, according to the commission, leaving customers to cover the remaining $5.6 million.

The rate increase will take effect Feb. 1 and affects Ameren’s estimated 126,000 natural gas customers.

The commission's approval resolves all issues on the rate increase.

In June 2010, the utility company initially asked for an additional $11.9 million.

The rate increase will help Ameren pay for infrastructure and the increased cost of providing natural gas service, according to a Public Service Commission news release.

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