Starting tomorrow, Ameren Missouri customers will see their electric rates decrease by 6 percent, thanks to legislation passed by the Missouri General Assembly and action by the Missouri Public Service Commission.
The $167 million rate cut stems from federal tax reductions passed by the U.S. Congress in December, which required actions from Missouri lawmakers and regulators to expedite these considerable savings to customers. The rate cut is the first benefit customers will receive as part of Ameren Missouri’s Smart Energy Plan, made possible by the new energy law. Also as part of the legislation, the new lower base electric rates will be frozen until April 2020.
“Under Ameren Missouri’s Smart Energy Plan, our customers will experience lower costs right away and greater benefits in the future,” said Michael Moehn, president of Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation [NYSE: AEE]. “The plan will meet our customers’ desire for more affordable and stable rates, along with a smarter energy grid that is even more reliable, flexible and secure, all while incorporating new sources of clean energy. On behalf of our customers, we applaud the efforts of Missouri legislators and regulators to recognize the importance of passing and authorizing Senate Bill 564, which expedited these rate cuts to millions of customers.”
The new law is enabling a major grid modernization plan, which Ameren says is the cornerstone of its new Smart Energy Plan.
Highlights of the plan include:
- Economic Development – To drive economic growth, rate incentives were established for companies that expand or build new facilities in Missouri, making it an attractive place to do business and hire workers.
- Rate Cut – A 6 percent rate cut, or approximately $72 per year savings for residential customers, starts on Aug. 1, 2018. [SB 564 established a mechanism for the Missouri Public Service Commission to quickly give the full federal tax cut utility savings back to customers through lower rates.]
- Rate Freeze – Freezes current base rates for customers until April 2020.
- Rate Caps – Establishes rate caps that will control the size of any future increase, making rates more stable and predictable.
- Grid Modernization – A plan from Ameren Missouri, detailing improvements over the next five years, is expected to be submitted to the Missouri Public Service Commission [PSC] in early 2019. The plan will create jobs in the state and modernize the energy delivery system with smart technologies that have considerable customer benefits.
- Solar Energy – Ameren Missouri will make available up to $28 million in solar rebates for customers, starting in 2019. In addition, Ameren Missouri will allocate $14 million to utility-owned solar by 2023.
Missouri Senate Bill 564 was widely supported by customers, business organizations, unions and a bipartisan majority of more than 85 percent of the Missouri General Assembly.