Ameren Missouri customers will have the chance to weigh in on a proposed rate increase at a hearing in Jefferson City early next year.
The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC), which regulates the state's investor-owned utility companies, is hosting a public hearing at 6 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Governor Office Building, 210 Madison St., Room 310.
Those unable to attend the hearing may submit written comments by mail to the Missouri Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 360, Jefferson City, Missouri, 65102, or by referencing file no. ER-2022-0337 when submitting a comment online at psc.mo.gov/General/Submit_Comments.
The Jefferson City stop is the second hearing on the schedule for a series hosted by the PSC to gather input from Ameren customers across the state.
Hearings are a regular part of the commission's procedure to consider rate adjustment requests such as Ameren's.
The utility provider proposed an overall increase of around $316 million -- or 11.6 percent -- from retail customers.
"About $40.76 million of that annual increase is due to increases in Ameren Missouri's fuel and purchased power costs," according to the PSC.
If approved, the request would increase its monthly fixed residential customer charge from $9 to $13 for regular users and those participating in overnight and evening or morning energy saver programs and $11 for those considered "smart savers."
Those in the "ultimate savers" tier will remain at $9 a month.
The proposed rate adjustment would help Ameren recover the cost of major infrastructure upgrades to increase resiliency and its continued focus on clean energy generation. The increased revenue would go toward Ameren's Smart Energy Plan, through which the company installs smart switches that can redirect power in the case of an outage, an increased focus on renewable power generation and other reliability efforts.
"The electric system upgrades Ameren Missouri has made are crucial to ensuring our customers have safe and reliable energy during the continued transition to cleaner sources of generation," Ameren Missouri President and Chairman Mark Birk previously said in a statement. "Our customers depend on us to deliver reliable service, and they're seeing fewer outages with shorter durations, delivering up to a 40 percent improvement in reliability on circuits with innovative technology."
Ameren also hopes to offer more rate options for customers based on information obtained through the smart switch system and bolster the company's Community Solar Program, in which it partners with businesses to install solar facilities over their parking lots.
The rate adjustment process sees the PSC and other stakeholders reviewing the proposal over the course of 11 months, beginning with the initial filing that took place in August.