ST. LOUIS, July 25, 2002 – The Missouri Public Service Commission today unanimously approved a settlement reached in the electric rate case of AmerenUE, a utility subsidiary of Ameren Corp.
On July 16, AmerenUE and all other parties participating in the electric rate case submitted the joint settlement to the Missouri Public Service Commission.
The joint settlement includes a rate moratorium through June 30, 2006, the phase-in of $110 million in electric rate reductions, over $2 billion in critical energy infrastructure commitments from the company, and $26 million in funding during the term of the plan for several important programs that will benefit low-income consumers, enhance energy conservation and support the state’s economic development efforts. In addition, the settlement calls for an overall reduction in the company’s depreciation expense by $20 million per year.
Under the joint settlement, AmerenUE’s Missouri retail electric customers will also begin receiving, in August or September, $40 million in credits – a one-time benefit averaging $14.50 per residential customer. The $40 million in credits result from the final settlement of earnings sharing benefits under the experimental alternative regulation plan (EARP), which expired June 30, 2001. Under that plan, stockholders and customers shared earnings between certain regulatory return-on-equity thresholds.
“Obviously, we are very pleased with the Commission’s timely review and approval of the settlement agreement,” said Charles W. Mueller, chairman and chief executive officer, Ameren Corporation. “This settlement will provide significant benefits to our customers and to the state of Missouri, while ensuring the future energy needs of the state.”
“The approved agreement offers AmerenUE electric customers significant rate reductions, coupled with rate stability and continued strong reliability,” added Gary L. Rainwater, president and chief operating officer, Ameren Corporation. “The settlement will also provide the company with financial flexibility in addition to meaningful incentives to improve its operations and enable it to deliver solid investor returns.”
The joint settlement came in response to an excess earnings complaint case filed by the Missouri Public Service Commission staff against AmerenUE in July 2001. Copies of the now-approved joint agreement can be obtained from the MoPSC website at http://www.psc.state.mo.us .
AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. Ameren companies serve 1.5 million electric customers and 300,000 natural gas customers in a 44,500-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.