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Your Opinion: Ameren's rate-hike request opposed

Your Opinion: Ameren's rate-hike request opposed

March 25th, 2011 by Robert C. Kettler, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

I attended the hearing session (Ameren's rate increase) recently held in Jefferson City. I wanted to testify, but due to parking constraints, I was unable to. I was advised my testifying would bear more weight, but I begged the MPSC in a recent email to hear my concerns, as this is a serious concern for me and other Ameren customers.

During the conversations prior to the testifying, all I heard was, it will only cost the customer 33 cents a day. This conversation was in addition to the rate increase. Well 33 cents a day in reality is $9.90 more per month, or $119/year.

I am residing at my current location since November 2010, and my utility costs have skyrocketed. And not because of my usage. In the past three months I have reduced my usage, only to find my individual unit costs increased.

Why is that? I consider this an outrage, a penalty for trying to reduce my usage.

The FAC costs are outrageous. For the year 2010 my FAC totaled $17 plus change. This year alone, three months worth, my FACs are already at $34. Doubled last years costs and it only took three months. I shudder to think what the year will total. My budget billing initiated in November "10 was $87/month, today it's $119, a $384 per year increase.

I read that MPSC stated that they could not rescind an approved Ameren increase, but they are definitely in the position to refuse their latest request for an increase.

The customer, and a good portion of them are on fixed incomes, cannot handle the kind of increases these rate increases will cause. Enough is enough, time to apply the brakes. We need MPSC's help, the state lawmakers and our Jefferson City government is not helping one bit.

I've made my plea and I hope the MPSC will bear us the customer of Ameren some serious considerations. Additionally, if we want the MPSC to deny Ameren's request for an increase we need more customers to write to the commissioners and state their case for relief.