Ameren wants to raise rates despite drop in electricity costs - KMOV.com

Ameren wants to raise rates despite drop in electricity costs

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Ameren Missouri says it wants to raise its customers’ rates, despite the fact some of the costs to make electricity area going down.

The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved an increase to the fuel adjustment charge. That means the average customer paying $1.74 a month for that fee will begin paying $3.17 a month starting in June.

That rate increase will make up for a drop in sales of unused electricity to other states. But Ameren points out the power-adjustment charge portion of the bill will still be lower than it was last year.

The real question is: Why are Ameren customers not benefiting from the dramatic drop in price of coal?

Ameren buys its coal to run its power plants from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming, where prices have dropped 45 percent in the last year.

But customers are not benefiting because Ameren buys a more expensive type of coal and the prices are locked in until the company’s current contracts run out.

One way to pass along lower costs is through the power adjustment charge, which has dropped four times in the last year and a half.

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