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Rate increase approved to pay for Ameren Missouri’s renewable energy costs

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(The Center Square) – More than a million Ameren Missouri customers will see a fivefold increase in a line item on their electricity bills to pay for voter-mandated renewable energy.

The Missouri Public Service Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved a request from Ameren Missouri to adjust the Renewable Energy Standard Rate Adjustment Mechanism charge. The amount is allowed to recover costs associated with the state’s renewable energy standard.

A residential Ameren customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each month currently pays approximately 35 cents a month for the charge, according to the Public Service Commission. The amount will increase to approximately $2.04 a month beginning in February.

The rate increase request will pay for the cost for Ameren to comply with the renewable energy regulation from August 2022 to July 2023.

In December 2022, the Public Service Commission approved a request from Ameren to increase the amount. Residential customers went from a credit of approximately 50 cents per month to the current charge of approximately 35 cents, an 85-cent monthly increase.

More than 66% of Missouri voters approved Proposition C, known as the Missouri Clean Energy Act, in November 2008. It required the three investor-owned utilities in the state – Ameren, Empire and Kansas City Power and Light – to acquire renewable energy resources as a percentage of its total retail sales each makes to customers. It required 15% of electricity be generated or purchased from solar, wind, biomass or hydropower sources by 2021.

Thirty states have renewable or clean energy requirements, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“Renewable energy policies help drive the nation’s $269 billion market as of 2022 for wind, solar and other renewable energy sources,” according to the NCSL’s website. “These policies can play an integral role in state efforts to diversify their energy mix, promote economic development and reduce emissions. Roughly half of the growth in U.S. renewable energy generation since the beginning of the 2000s can be attributed to state renewable energy requirements.”

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