The Public Service Commission says it has changed the way power companies get rate increases–moving from a system based on increased electricity use to one based on energy efficiency. The commission is allowing Ameren to charge customers an average of ten dollars a month more. But the company has to offer $89 million in incentives that will encourage customers to use less energy, therefore saving money in the long run.
Commission Chairman Kevin Gunn says utilities are being pushed to take aggressive energy efficiency measures. The approval requires Ameren to offer seven programs for residential customers and four programs for business customers to reduce their energy bills. Gunn says consumers should save more than ten dollars a month in the long run.
He says the Ameren rate case is a prototype for future rate increase cases filed by investor-owned utilities.