Do think Ameren is justified in asking for the rate hike?
ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Missouri Residents may soon be paying more for electricity. Amid a tremendous heat wave, Ameren Missouri has asked for a 14 percent increase.
Customers are livid after receiving a letter in the mail warning them about the increase. Many residents are already having trouble paying their bills, and the increase could mean tough decisions ahead.
“Oh my god. I had to decide if I’m gonna pay the light bill or if I’m gonna eat,” said resident Cheryl Stewart. “It’s awful.”
Stewart is already struggling. Each month she says her bill just keeps getting higher. And because she can’t afford to pay the full amount, she was told her power will be disconnected.
“They just say you have to pay,” she said. “They don’t really care about the people. They just care about the money.”
Now that Ameren has made the request, it’s up to the Public Service Commission to grant it.
News 4 spoke to the chairman of the P.S.C., Kevin Gunn, to find out what’s going on.
“We have the law we have to follow which requires us to do certain things and then we just try to do what’s best for the consumers in the state of Missouri,” he said. “We have to balance the needs of consumers with the needs of utilities.”
However, the deal is not finalized. The P.S.C. is holding several hearings where customers will have a chance to voice concerns.
Gunn says in the past the P.S.C. has made the increase only a fraction of what Ameren has requested; so public hearings can make a difference.
We have a list of public hearing locations here