Electric rates decreasing for Ameren Missouri customers

|Mar 25|magazine21 min read

ST. LOUIS, March 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), announced today that residential, commercial and industrial customers' electric rates will decrease starting in April. The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a $32 million decrease in the company's annual revenue requirement, which translates to a savings of approximately $15 per year for an average residential customer. The decrease marks the second consecutive decrease since 2018, when customers received a 6% rate cut as part of the company's Smart Energy Plan.

"We recognize the importance of keeping customer rates affordable as we implement our Smart Energy Plan to upgrade infrastructure, improve reliability and add clean energy," said Marty Lyons, president of Ameren Missouri. "We're building a brighter energy future for the communities we serve with new solar and wind generation, economic development rate incentives for new or expanding businesses and innovative new services for millions of customers."

Rates have declined while Ameren Missouri implements the largest infrastructure upgrade plan in the company's 100-year history. Thousands of electric projects over the next five years, expected to total $7.6 billion, are designed to create a cleaner, stronger energy grid that will serve customers' changing energy needs for decades to come. While keeping rates affordable, the plan will strengthen the grid against storms and high winds, reducing the length and likelihood of outages, and increase capacity for growing communities.

For additional information on Ameren Missouri's Smart Energy Plan, visit www.AmerenMissouri.com/SmartEnergyPlan

Customer Benefits of the Rate Review Agreement:

  • Rate decrease of approximately $1.25 per month or approximately-$15 per year for the average residential customer.
  • Energy management options to match customers' lifestyles.
  • Ameren Missouri donation of $7.5 million to energy assistance and weatherization programs for low-income customers starting in April 2020.
  • Development of an online rate comparison tool for customers.

Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 132,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this release not based on historical facts are considered "forward-looking" and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such forward-looking statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. These statements include (without limitation) statements as to future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions, and financial performance. In connection with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we are providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The following factors, in addition to those discussed under Risk Factors in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, and elsewhere in this release and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations suggested in such forward-looking statements:

  • regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions, and any changes in regulatory policies and ratemaking determinations, that may change regulatory recovery mechanisms, such as those that may result from Ameren Missouri's electric service regulatory rate review filed with the Missouri Public Service Commission ("MoPSC") in July 2019;
  • the effect on Ameren Missouri of any customer rate caps pursuant to Ameren Missouri's election to use the plant-in-service accounting regulatory mechanism, including an extension of use beyond 2023, if requested by Ameren Missouri and approved by the MoPSC;
  • the effects of changes in federal, state, or local laws and other governmental actions, including monetary, fiscal, and energy policies;
  • the effects of changes in federal, state, or local tax laws, regulations, interpretations, or rates, including as a result of amendments or technical corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and challenges to the tax positions taken by us, if any;
  • the effects on demand for our services resulting from technological advances, including advances in customer energy efficiency, energy storage, and private generation sources, which generate electricity at the site of consumption and are becoming more cost-competitive;
  • our ability to align overall spending, both operating and capital, with frameworks established by our regulators and to recover these costs in a timely manner in our attempt to earn our allowed returns on equity;
  • the effectiveness of our risk management strategies and our use of financial and derivative instruments;
  • the impact of cyberattacks on us or our suppliers, which could, among other things, result in the loss of operational control of energy centers and electric and natural gas transmission and distribution systems and/or the loss of data, such as customer, employee, financial, and operating system information;
  • business and economic conditions, including their impact on interest rates, collection of our receivable balances, and demand for our products;
  • disruptions of the capital markets, deterioration in our credit metrics, or other events that may have an adverse effect on the cost or availability of capital, including short-term credit and liquidity;
  • the actions of credit rating agencies and the effects of such actions;
  • the inability of our counterparties to meet their obligations with respect to contracts, credit agreements, and financial instruments;
  • the impact of weather conditions and other natural phenomena on us and our customers, including the impact of system outages;
  • the construction, installation, performance, and cost recovery of generation, transmission, and distribution assets;
  • the operation of Ameren Missouri's Callaway Energy Center, including planned and unplanned outages, and decommissioning costs;
  • the impact of current environmental laws and new, more stringent, or changing requirements, including those related to New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act, carbon dioxide and the implementation of the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, other emissions and discharges, cooling water intake structures, coal combustion residuals, and energy efficiency, that could limit or terminate the operation of certain of Ameren Missouri's energy centers, increase our operating costs or investment requirements, result in an impairment of our assets, cause us to sell our assets, reduce our customers' demand for electricity or natural gas, or otherwise have a negative financial effect;
  • Ameren Missouri's ability to acquire wind and other renewable energy generation facilities and recover its cost of investment and related return in a timely manner, which is affected by the ability to obtain all necessary project approvals; the ability of developers to meet contractual commitments and timely complete projects, which is dependent upon the availability of necessary materials and equipment, among other things; the availability of federal production and investment tax credits related to renewable energy and Ameren Missouri's ability to use such credits; the cost of wind and solar generation technologies; and Ameren Missouri's ability to obtain timely interconnection agreements with the MISO or other regional transmission organizations at an acceptable cost for each facility;
  • labor disputes, work force reductions, changes in future wage and employee benefits costs, including those resulting from changes in discount rates, mortality tables, returns on benefit plan assets, and other assumptions;
  • the impact of negative opinions of us or our utility services that our customers, investors, legislators, or regulators may have or develop, which could result from a variety of factors, including failures in system reliability, failure to implement our investment plans or to protect sensitive customer information, increases in rates, negative media coverage, or concerns about environmental, social, and/or governance practices;
  • the impact of adopting new accounting guidance;
  • the effects of strategic initiatives, including mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures;
  • legal and administrative proceedings; andacts of sabotage, war, terrorism, pandemic health events, or other intentionally disruptive acts.

New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained or implied in any forward-looking statement. Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information or future events.

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SOURCE Ameren Missouri