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AmerenUE customers to get refund

Monday, October 29, 2007 | 8:51 p.m. CDT; updated 10:47 a.m. CST, Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Money back on next month’s gas bill is not a mistake.

AmerenUE customers will see a one-time credit in November — an average of $42 per household — according to Mike Cleary, a company communications executive in Jefferson City. The actual amount for AmerenUE’s 39,000 customers in Boone County will be determined by individual usage in the past 12 months.

The credit is the result consolidating rates for wholesale natural gas and its transportation to supply centers in AmerenUE’s four Missouri regions.

This represents two-thirds of the residential gas bill, Cleary said.

“The rest is what actually goes to AmerenUE to pay costs of distributing that gas to customers,” he said.

The credit also allows AmerenUE to refund charges the utility collected during the past year when it anticipated higher demand for gas. Typically any amount above actual gas costs is refunded over a 12-month period.

In March, the Missouri Public Service Commission granted AmerenUE’s request to simplify its four-region system and create a single rate.

Because rates are now shared, monthly bills this winter are expected to be a little higher overall for local customers.

Beginning Nov. 1, residential customers here will see an average increase of about $2.55 per month compared with last winter, Cleary said. Commercial and industrial customer costs will vary by industry.

“The idea is that with one rate for everyone, it will be more stable and less susceptible to price spikes,” Cleary said. “We hope to have a little less volatility.”

The credit will be deducted from the gas service charge. The amount will be identified as a message on the bill, and the bills will be mailed in envelopes with more information about the changes.


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