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Ameren Missouri natural gas customers will see a decrease in their rates.

Under a filing that takes effect today, Ameren's rates will change to reflect estimated changes in the wholesale cost of natural gas as well as a change in the company's Actual Cost Adjustment factor, the Missouri Public Service Commission announced in a news release.

The ACA factor is a mechanism that tracks any over-collection or under-collection of actual natural gas costs over a 12-month period. The net over- or under-collected balances are subsequently refunded or collected the next year.

Ameren residential customers currently pay 47 cents per hundred cubic feet (Ccf) of natural gas. Under this filing, the rate will decrease 7 cents to 40 cents per Ccf.

Fifty to 55 percent of a customer's current natural gas bill reflects the cost of natural gas from wholesale suppliers. The wholesale cost of natural gas (the cost the natural gas company must pay to its suppliers for natural gas) is not regulated by the PSC. The wellhead cost of natural gas is unregulated and is primarily driven by supply, demand and the weather. The PSC does conduct an annual regulatory review to ensure regulated natural gas companies make prudent decisions in securing natural gas supplies for their customers.

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