The Missouri Public Service Commission has rejected an application filed by Ameren Missouri seeking to offer a surge protection program to its electricity customers.
"The program is flawed in that customers using the program would be dealing with a third-party device manufacturer that the PSC does not regulate," according to a PSC news release. 'The PSC cannot protect customers against that third-party's actions."
The PSC also noted the proposed program is potentially misleading to customers because it only includes motor-driven household equipment. Non motor-driven equipment, such as electronics, would not be covered.
The PSC, however, indicated it would be willing to consider a pilot program that remedies these issues.
"If the pilot program established that Ameren, and not a third-party provider, would guarantee the device, with only subscribers paying that cost, then the PSC would consider such a program," the PSC release read. "Such a program should also give clear notice to customers of all items not covered by a warranty."
On Sept. 21, 2020, Ameren filed tariff sheets designed to implement a surge protection program for its electricity customers to protect electrical devices from voltage surges and spikes.
If a customer wanted to participate in the proposed program, a surge protection device would be installed on the base of the electricity meter and the customer would pay Ameren $9.95 a month for the device.
"While Ameren seeks to have its surge protection program regulated by the PSC, Ameren also attempts to insulate itself from any meaningful regulation by claiming the device manufacturer is entirely responsible for handling device failures and warranty claims," according to the PSC release.