Rate-increase hearings in Missouri this week

Sunday, February 13, 2011 | 4:27 p.m. CST; updated 8:26 p.m. CST, Sunday, February 13, 2011

CAPE GIRARDEAU — Public hearings have been scheduled around the state in February and March about Ameren Missouri's request for a rate increase.

The St. Louis-based power company filed a request late last year for an 11 percent increase to electric rates in all rate classes, amounting to $263 million annually.

The Missouri Public Service Commission will begin evidentiary hearings on the request in April. The commission is sponsoring the public hearings to give customers a chance to ask questions about the possible increase.

Ameren spokeswoman Lisa Manzo told The Southeast Missourian that the increase is not in anticipation of future projects but is a reimbursement for previous work.

If the commission grants the rate increase, Ameren estimates the average residential customer will pay an additional $9.30 a month, based on 1,100 kilowatt-hours consumed.


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Delcia Crockett February 14, 2011 | 7:57 a.m.

@"The commission is sponsoring the public hearings to give customers a chance to ask questions about the possible increase."

How magnanimous. [bitter irony mode]

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote February 14, 2011 | 10:43 a.m.

In Ameren's latest earnings report, they report an annual profit margin of 13.5%.
The long term average profit margin for companies on the S&P 500 is between 5-6%.
Note that Ameren's relatively high margin presumably includes their infrastructure costs that they say merits a rate increase. A portion of these costs ($15 million) are related to the Taum Sauk incidence which was a direct result of corporate malfeasance/incompetence that should not be paid for by consumers.
It is unseemly for a monopoly to have a profit margin significantly above historical averages, and to petition for a rate increase to further inflate profits in an economic environment with 9+% unemployment.

(Report Comment)

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