PSC Approves Modified Agreement Providing Energy Assistance
Funding To Low-Income Ameren Missouri Electric Customers
JEFFERSON CITY---The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved a modified agreement between Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri and the Office of the Public Counsel (OPC) which will provide approximately $3.5 million to help low-income Ameren Missouri customers needing assistance with their electric bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March, the Public Service Commission approved an agreement among parties in an Ameren Missouri rate case, which reduced Ameren Missouri’s annual electric revenue by approximately $32 million, effective April 1, 2020.
In that case, the Commission also approved a separate agreement between Ameren Missouri and OPC in which the electric company would donate approximately $7 million to the 14 consumer action agencies in the state that administer low-income weatherization assistance programs in the Ameren Missouri service territory, to be spent on low-income weatherization or for assistance to low-income customers for such customers’ participation in Ameren Missouri’s energy efficiency programs.
In a recent filing with the Commission, OPC and Ameren Missouri sought Commission approval to modify that agreement. In that filing they stated, “The impacts of COVID-19 on Ameren Missouri’s low-income customers is particularly acute in terms of those customers’ ability to pay their utility bills.” The filing also noted that while low-income customers would ultimately benefit from the implementation of weatherization measures at their residences, weatherization activity in the state has all but stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the modified agreement approved by the Commission, $3.5 million of the approximate $7 million will be used to provide low-income energy assistance to Ameren Missouri’s electric customers needing assistance with paying their electric bills. The other $3.5 million will be used for low-income weatherization/energy efficiency as originally agreed to between Ameren Missouri and OPC.
Ameren Missouri anticipates the funding will be phased-in over the remainder of the year to help those in need with their current past-due balances, summer past-due balances and past-due balances this fall/winter. Ameren Missouri will work with community action agencies and other energy assistance agencies throughout the state to administer the funds.
OPC is a separate state agency which represents the general public in matters before the Public Service Commission.
Ameren Missouri serves approximately 1.28 million electric customers in Missouri.