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AmerenUE Files for Natural Gas Rate Decrease to Reflect Lower Costs from Suppliers

AmerenUE has filed a request with the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) for a decrease in the Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) on customers’ natural gas bills to reflect lower wholesale costs from the company’s suppliers. The new PGA rate represents a 25% reduction from PGA rates currently in effect and a 32% reduction from PGA rates last fall. Subject to PSC review and approval, the decrease would take effect April 1 for the company’s 127,000 natural gas customers. Electric rates would not be affected. UE’s current PGA has been in effect since Nov. 1, 2008.

“In our continuing commitment to connect Missouri by providing reliable energy, dedicated customer service and a vision for a sustainable future, UE strives to keep natural gas costs at stable and reasonable rates for customers, while dampening the effects of market volatility and price spikes from the wholesale gas markets,” says Thomas R. Voss, president and chief executive officer of AmerenUE. “We are responding to our customer’s desire for more stable PGA rates by buying ahead and using storage to control market volatility. At UE, we listen, we respond, we deliver.”

Under the filing, the PGA charge for most residential customers would decrease from approximately 99 cents per Ccf (hundred cubic feet) of natural gas to 75 cents per Ccf—a reduction of about 24 cents. Customers within the company’s service areas will experience varying savings due to usage differences. For Central Missouri customers, the change in the PGA will result in an average decrease in a customer’s total bill, excluding taxes, of about $6.29 per month during the “non-winter” usage period of April through October. For Southeast Missouri customers, this would result in an average decrease in a customer’s total bill, excluding taxes, of about $5.12 per month during the “non-winter” usage period.

For residential customers in Rolla, Salem and Owensville, the PGA would decrease from approximately $1.21 per Ccf per month to about 95 cents per Ccf per month—a reduction of about 26 cents. This would result in an average monthly decrease in a customer’s total bill, excluding taxes, during the non-winter season of about $5.54. A transportation surcharge from the pipeline that delivers gas to this area accounts for the difference in the impact on these three communities.

The PGA reflects the wholesale cost of natural gas from the company’s suppliers, plus the cost of transporting that gas to the UE system. Since the wholesale costs change daily—while the PGA does not—the PGA also includes an adjustment to compensate for any under- or over-collection of actual costs in previous periods. UE passes these supplier costs on to customers, dollar for dollar, through the PGA without any “markup” in price.

For residential customers, the PGA accounts for about two-thirds of an average gas bill, excluding taxes, so any change in the PGA can have a significant impact on the total price customers pay.

UE reminds customers who wish to reduce their natural gas usage by installing more efficient natural gas equipment that the UE’s Missouri Energy Efficient Natural Gas Equipment Rebate Program offers residential customers rebates for a portion of the cost of new ENERGY STAR® qualified gas furnaces and thermostats. For commercial customers, the program offers rebates for a portion of the cost of an ENERGY STAR-listed commercial gas utilization product—such as a furnace, dryer, fryer, steam cooker, or other kitchen appliance. The rebates are available for equipment purchased through Dec. 31, 2009, and installed by Jan. 31, 2010, subject to remaining funding for the program.

For more information about the rebate program, visit www.ameren.com, then click on Natural Gas Center & Rebates.

AmerenUE, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation, serves 1.2 million electric and 127,000 natural gas customers over a 24,000-square-mile area covering north, central and eastern Missouri.

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CONTACT: Susan Gallagher, 314.554.2175, of AmerenUE