Rep. Ellinger Receives “Friend of Ratepayers Award”
The award is for legislative efforts to fight utility rate increases.
JEFFERSON CITY — The Fair Energy Rate Action Fund (FERAF) announced that Rep. Rory Ellinger (D-University City) is receiving the consumer organization’s “Friend of Ratepayers Award” for his recent legislative efforts to fight utility rate increases.
FERAF, which is made up of business and residential utility consumers, is giving this award to state legislators that are most active in supporting Missouri ratepayers and opposing efforts by utility lobbyist to make it easier to raise Missourians’ electric bills.
“Rep. Rory Ellinger understand that in this tough economy the last thing we should be doing is hiking utility rates on Missouri families and businesses,” said Chris Roepe, FERAF’s Executive Director. “We are pleased to recognize Rory Ellinger as someone who stands on the side of consumers in the fight for affordable electric rates.”
Over the past four years Missouri investor owned utilities have dramatically increased Missouri electric rates. Rates have gone up by 36 percent during this time period. These increases would have been even greater but for the efforts of legislators like Rory Ellinger who support FERAF’s fight to keep rates low.
The legislative ideas pushed by Missouri utilities that would result in further rate increases, but were stopped by FERAF and consumer-minded legislators, include:
- Shortening the length of a rate case before theMissouri Public Service Commission, thus allowing utilities to seek rate increases more often,
- Repealing Missouri’s long standing prohibition against charging consumers for the construction of power plants before they are producing electricity,
- Placing additional surcharges on Missourians’ monthly electric bill, which allows utilities to raise rates without going through the traditional ratemaking process, and
- Allowing for the first time ever a bonus rate increase on top of the normal rate increase.
These proposals would have allowed utilities to stack a bonus rate increase on top of the outcome of a traditional rate increase to back bill customers for money the utility would have received if its newly decided rate increase would have gone into effect sooner.