MO: Ameren proposes exotic new fixed charge


Ameren has filed a new rate case in Missouri, seeking to raise its base gross annual electric revenues by $206.4 million, an overall increase of 7.8% on a pro forma basis, with an ROE of 9.90%. Ameren stated that the increase is needed to pay for improvements to its generation and electric-delivery systems, higher transmission charges imposed by MISO, higher property taxes, and the impact of the loss of load from what was formerly its largest customer, Noranda Aluminum. Ameren initiated this case less than 14 months after its previous Missouri rate case (Case ER-2014-0258) concluded. It has filed seven rate cases in Missouri in the past 10 years.

As part of its proposal, Ameren is seeking to impose a new “energy grid access charge” — in addition to its existing monthly customer charge — on residential and small business customers. This fixed monthly charge is designed to cover a portion of the distribution system costs that are unrelated to the amount of demand or usage on the system. Ameren’s testimony states that while the monthly customer charge generally reflects the basic costs of metering and billing customers, the proposed energy grid access charge would reflect the minimum costs related to accessing the grid itself. In this case, Ameren is proposing to impose a monthly energy grid access charge of $4.89 for residential and small business customers. Ameren stated that its cost-of-service analysis supports an energy grid access charge as high as $14.68, and that it will seek to raise the charge again during its next two rate cases.

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