Senate Majority Leader Cindy O’Laughlin, R-Shelbina, is not happy that the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) is requiring private electric utility companies to move residential customers to time-based rates.

She calls out Chairman Scott Rupp and says that utility companies have not asked for this system. She also says in a Facebook post from July that it quadruples the rate during peak periods of the afternoon.

“The plan that he has chosen, I believe, will come as a complete surprise to many customers who simply cannot afford that kind of rate hike and they won’t recognize that that’s happening until they get the bill,” says O’Laughlin.

Under this plan, when the cost to generate and deliver electricity is higher (between the times of 4pm to 8pm), the cost for customers to use electricity will be higher. When the costs are lower, customer rates will be lower.

O’Laughlin calls it a politically based decision that could have ramifications come January of 2024 if the Senate is not convinced that the PSC are doing the job that they were appointed to do.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to end the way that they think it will,” O’Laughlin says. “If the Public Service Commission does not either indefinitely suspend this order or completely reverse it, then when we come back into session, we’ll be putting legislation to rein them in.”

PSC Chair Scott Rupp says that these rates help customers lower their monthly energy expenses.

The Senate Majority Leader tells Missourinet that she cannot see the reasoning behind the idea.

“I think there is the possibility that it will hurt many customers who can’t afford it and that will be low income people, lots of working people who will be surprised when this happens, senior citizens, I don’t like it, and the Minority Leader doesn’t like it either,” she says.

Rupp encourages customers to visit their utility’s website where they can learn which new rate options are best for them and their individual household.

Copyright 2023, Missourinet.