ST. LOUIS, June 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Electric rates are falling later this summer for Ameren Missouri customers, thanks to a new law updating century-old policies in the state.
In addition to a rate cut, estimated at around five percent for Ameren Missouri customers, the legislation also will benefit customers by capping rates and accelerating utility investments to modernize Missouri's electric grid, which benefits customers by making the grid smarter and more secure.
Missouri Senate Bill 564, which was signed into law earlier this month, was widely supported by customers, business organizations, unions and a bipartisan majority of more than 85 percent of the Missouri General Assembly.
"For years our customers have expressed a desire for more stable and predictable energy bills, as well as a modernized electric grid that is smarter and more resilient to outages," said Michael Moehn, president, Ameren Missouri. "The new law delivers on this important task. We look forward to delivering a plan that will greatly benefit our customers, create jobs, bolster the grid and enable new economic growth in Missouri. We thank the coalition of customers, businesses, community organizations and lawmakers that came together this year to upend the status quo and make energy infrastructure improvement and customer rate stability a reality."
In addition to rate cuts and caps, the legislation makes possible a comprehensive plan that will accelerate the pace of deploying smart grid technologies throughout the Ameren Missouri service territory. The plan will update the energy delivery system with modern infrastructure that will make it more resilient.
Elements of the new law include:
"As advocates for families, small businesses and households, we are pleased that the new law provides for the first rate caps in Missouri and will return more than $100 million to consumers within 90 days of becoming law," said Chris Ventura, Midwest executive director of the Consumer Energy Alliance, a national advocate for energy consumers. "We look forward to working together with Missouri policymakers to support building the energy infrastructure that not only provides upgraded capabilities but also protects the pocketbooks of people on fixed incomes or living paycheck to paycheck. Nothing is more important to us than ensuring energy consumers – especially those struggling to make ends meet – are treated fairly. We also support provisions of the new law that help grow Missouri's economy through job creation, as a result of energy grid modernization, and by providing incentives for large energy users who expand their businesses. Business growth helps keep energy costs down for all consumers."
"The rate cuts and caps signed into law will allow businesses to grow, while the economic development incentives included in SB 564 will further enhance Missouri's reputation as a low-cost energy state," said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. "The work done during the 2018 legislative session to make Missouri a better place to create jobs is some of the most productive in the past decade. In particular, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is proud to have worked with lawmakers to cut utility bills for Missourians."
While the law included a 90-day deadline for utilities to pass along savings from the federal tax cuts to customers, Ameren Missouri plans to move even quicker to return more than $100 million to customers and reduce rates, which started with a filing with the PSC made on June 1, within hours of the bill becoming law. Subject to Missouri PSC approval, Ameren Missouri hopes to have this rate cut in place for customers as soon as possible later this summer.
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and natural gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 130,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.
Statements in this release not based on historical facts are considered "forward-looking" and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such forward-looking statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. These statements include (without limitation) statements as to future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions, and financial performance. In connection with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we are providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The following factors, in addition to those discussed under Risk Factors in Ameren Corporation's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, and elsewhere in this release and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations suggested in such forward-looking statements:
New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained or implied in any forward-looking statement. Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information or future events.
Editor's Note: The final rate cut for Ameren Missouri customers, approved by the Missouri PSC on July 5, was for a 6.1 percent rate cut.
SOURCE Ameren Missouri