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Your Opinion: Utility does not pass on savings

Your Opinion: Utility does not pass on savings

July 25th, 2012 by RC Kettler, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

I read an article just recently contributed by the Associated Press, that a plunge in the price of natural gas has made it cheaper for utilities to produce electricity. However this savings is not being passed on to the consumers.

Are all the utility companies greedy or am I being to hard on these people? I think not. Only those utilities who are not pressed by competition are, but with competition it gives consumers the ability to shop around. With competition you are pressed to evaluate your process to determine what steps are necessary to stay competitive and profitable. We in Jefferson City and surrounding communities can not shop around, consequently we are at the mercy of AmerenUE.

This article also stated, "for the full year, electricity prices are expected to rise 2 percent."

A recent missive received from Ameren states, "the proposed increase would be approximately 14 percent or $14/month." Wow, that's 12 percent more than the expected average increase across the U.S.A. Is this their sly way of recouping the costs of rebuilding Taum Sauk?

Additionally they want the fuel adjustment charge to be continued. Their claim is that the cost for buying and bringing coal to fire their plants from Wyoming is costly. Well then, why aren't they evaluating alternate sources for their generators, like natural gas, to reduce their expenses, and end these constant requests for rate increases. Nearly a third of the country's utilities use natural gas to produce energy, and it is about 43 percent cheaper than a year ago. During my working life, employed by Fortune 500 companies as an engineer, it was our responsibility to be sure that the company was producing efficiently and profitable. Raising product prices to the consumer was not an option.

I don't envision it happening with AmerenUE.

Ameren consumers, the July 30 forum is where we need to be to voice our objections to this latest Ameren request.