Ameren seeks utility rate increases to raise $309M a year

Associated Press
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — Energy utility Ameren is seeking to raise customer rates to cover billions of dollars recently invested in electric grid upgrades and new wind generation facilities.

The company said in a filing last week to state regulators that it wants to boost electric rate revenues by almost $300 million annually, an increase amounting to 12%, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

If granted, the proposal would raise bills for an average residential electric customer by about $12 per month. 

The company also filed a proposal to increase rates for its 135,000 Missouri natural gas customers to bring in another $9.4 million in revenues, a $4 monthly increase for residential customers.

Ameren said it doesn't anticipate the new rates to go into effect until early next year.

The utility says the rate hikes are justified by a range of investments including recent moves to bolster the reliability and resilience of the area's electric grid and to acquire wind farms.

Ameren has upgraded substations and power lines, strengthened utility poles, and installed about 133,000 digital smart meters that provide customers and Ameren with usage information. The company has also recently acquired two northern Missouri wind farms for a combined $1.2 billion.