Ameren has submitted a request to the MO public Service Commission to increase revenues by almost $300 million. This translates to an increase of a typical residential customer's electric bill by approximately 11.97% (!).
By - HomunculusHunk
There are so many problems with this. One of them being in the highlighted sentence about the percentage increase in rate as related to the increase in an average customer's bill - it sure seems to be based on the assumption that bill was only about $100 to begin with. I don't know about yall but in my 2nd floor, 3 bed, built in 1906, brick flat, the bill is higher than that most months, especially since we started working from home.
Nevermind that they're essentially asking us to subsidize their smart meters, coal plant depreciations, and wind farms while they simultaneously take tax payer subsidies yet frequently pay little to no taxes. Pardon my French, but they can fuck off.
Anybody else going to the comment session?
my 1br apt was $240 last month
My one bedroom apartment jumped to $160-190 over the last few months as well. Last year the highest bill I saw was $85...
My 3 bedroom house was $90 last month. What are you using so much power on?
My house is currently about $75 a month, but when I lived in a 130 year old apartment it was $350+ during the summer. Insulation, windows, and doors can make a huge difference.
that's my problem... I caulked the hell out of everything last winter, but it no doubt dried out by summer, and there's only so much work and money I'm willing to put into a shitty rental when the landlord has been promising new windows for a year
the worst part is, the other 3 apts got their windows, there was a delay in getting ours, and they're sitting in the basement now.. waiting
What?! Check your AC unit. Check the filter. Your unit probably runs 24/7 do to low flow. This is a good place to start. A lot of rental properties have old ass inefficient systems that they just keep limping along, pushing the real cost of running them on to you.
Geez my 2700 sq/ft house costs 270... are you bitcoin mining in there?
I have a 4br, 3bath house in Eureka, with 2 gaming computers mining ethereum 24/7 and my own media server running 24/7 and mine goes about 250 a month. Miners are in the basement though where it stays cool, and the AC is now off with like 9 of my windows open. Hope it stays this cool out.
My mind is blown that a one bedroom apartment would cost 240.00 in electricity...
How? Are you sure you’re only being billed for your usage, and things like a laundry room, exterior lights, or other common areas (or another apartment) aren’t being billed to your account, too?
I keep my one story little brick house (with almost no attic insulation) as cold as an ice cave in the summer, while working from home, and my bill is still way cheaper than yours. You might be getting charged for things you shouldn’t be.
That seems very high. Have you switched to LED lights? Maybe try a clothes drying rack instead of the dryer, or get a programmable thermostat. Turn off your computer at night perhaps. Ameren has rebated stuff on their website too. I have a 3bedroom house and I use $80-100 a month.
Be warned: the Sensi thermostats Ameren gives out are complete trash, and very well might cost you more in the long run. Plus you can only opt out of allowing them to control your thermostat during “peak usage” 3x yearly before they start fining you for it.
Oh good to know. What issues have you had?
It frequently forgets the wifi network info (no changes, full battery, etc), the “comfort range” settings for things like temperature threshold never work (if it worked as described, it wouldn’t turn on until the ambient temp was 3 degrees away from the set temp), the humidity control sensor randomly changes its setting, it cycles on and off repeatedly in a matter of minutes, even though it’s set to take 5 minutes to turn back on after turning off to reduce strain on the a/c, and sometimes it just chooses its own temperature ranges. It somehow managed to make my a/c fan/blower cycle on and off so quickly, so frequently, that it blew a fuse in the blower yesterday.
The HVAC repair guy came out today to figure out why I had no control over the system, and he…did not have good things to say about it. Not as a means of trying to sell me something; he showed me how I could hook up any standard replacement myself. Now I just have to find a better option.
Allowing the electric company to control their thermostat.
Nope, I skipped that. Barely, but I know a lot of people who opted in this summer and regret it. Especially since they don’t make that part of the deal clear up front.
I’m sincerely glad I liked my ice cave enough to not have given Ameren the ability to change that, because it would have sucked this summer.
They're not fining you, they're taking back the payment you received when you agreed to participate in the Peak Time Savings program.
I've had an excellent experience with the free nest that I got. I probably saved 10-20% compared to a "dumb" thermostat. During the 4-5 peak days, it was smart enough to pre-cool the house to the right temperature in the early afternoon so it didn't have to run in the late afternoon when everyone else which improves grid reliability for everyone. It also has other features that you can set up like automatically turning off the air when you leave the house.
On top of the free thermostat, going forward you can save $50/year off your bills by just doing the same peak savings program too. I liked it a lot better than in a previous city that I lived in that only looked at the difference in your usage from "normal" days and it was completely on you to pre-cool the house if you wanted any savings.
You may have gotten a faulty thermostat…I too have the Sensi, and I think it’s great as well as being enrolled in their Peak Times program. I work from home and am always comfortable. Always 69-71 during the day and stays 68 at night.
When you referenced it selecting its own temp ranges below, that’s the whole point of the program. They’re causing less wear and tear on their own own power plants and infrastructure when controlling temps at consumers homes. They’re not doing it to piss off customers but to keep them from having to replace machinery regularly which costs are then passed on to consumers.
Pet of the reason I believe they’re asking for this increase in revenues is because they just found out the EPA is demanding they fix a scrubber at their Rush Island plant or close it down (Rush Island is only 6 years old IIRC and it cost +$1B to build). The EPA is the main reason for this revenue tick up because they can change their standards on the fly and utility companies have to keep up with it.
You can’t be defending this. You an Ameren plant? This is corporate greed, plain and simple. Maybe their CEO can take a pay reduction instead.
Yeah I’m sure Ameren like any large corporation is run by greedy bastards. Knowing that, energy efficiency can help you mitigate the impact of their greediness. Also good for the Earth since we are a very coal dependent part of the power grid here so our emissions/kWh is very high.
The person above said nothing about the proposal. They only commented that $240 for a one bedroom apartment was a high monthly cost.
I mean he's not wrong, that's unreasonably high without some sort of major inefficiencies in his hvac or lots of electronic use. Hes not paying some gouged rate compared to the rest of us, he's using more power.
It sounds like OP is renting and in that case, you don't have a lot of control over some of that stuff. I'm in a one bedroom brick apartment in south city and our AC could barely keep us out of the 80s this summer. I'd love to live somewhere more energy efficient, but it's not like I can go out and install new windows or get a new HVAC system. I did ask my landlord have the AC serviced it at the beginning of summer, and that helped but not a lot.
Paying $240/month for a single bedroom defends this. People are too wasteful with energy. They'll just keep raising prices as demand continues to increase.
Which sucks but tbh is the needed solution for helping the climate
And if that $300 million increase goes towards replacing obsolete infrastructure and renewables I'm honestly fine. This is exactly why they set up these calls and have a regulatory authority to go through for price changes. Somehow this thread feels like they deserve to set a thermostat at 68 on 100+ days and never see a rate hike but also expect growth in the area.
probably keep the air at like 78 don't you lol
That’s funny you say that because yes I do…. I have a dehumidifier run which makes it a dry 78F though
I put my AC at 68 at night
They probably are averaging costs across all eligible sites with meters. Including abandoned homes with 0 electric costs.
Looking at the form 10k for the year 2020, Ameren pays quite a lot of taxes
A single year taken by itself doesn't mean jack.
In other news....
Edit: busted link
You get clean energy or cheap energy. Pick one.
We could have clean energy and moderately priced energy if Ameren handled the money they take responsibly.
If you’re referring to decades of coal investments, those decisions have come and passed, and the costs are mostly sunk (some of which we’ll continue to pay as many communities are still paying off bonds). If we want what is essentially an entirely rebuilt grid composed of renewable energy sources, it will literally cost trillions.
I’m referring to many of Ameren’s horrible decisions over the years, or the current lawsuit against them for dumping toxic coal ash into local rivers. When addressing the costs of things like, I don’t know, actual crimes, the money should first come out of the absurdly high bonuses paid to the Ameren executives who are aware of and responsible for such actions.
Eventually, we will have to have an entirely rebuilt power grid designed around renewable energy sources. But that should be designed and done at a federal level. It’s a public utility; a private entity that exists solely for profit should never be running something so vital.
Do you think the Missouri public service commission allows them to recoup those costs from the consumers?
Directly? No. But it’s passed on indirectly in the absurd and incessant price increases.
Yeah that's not how a regulated utility works.
Shhhh…that will drive people to deregulation, which is what led to the clusterfuck that is the Texas grid system.
What a nice false dichotomy you have there! How much did it cost ya?
So all these solar fields and wind farms that we need for a clean grid, they build themselves?
Nope, but public utilities shouldn't be private monopolies.
We still have to pay for trillions in new infrastructure whether Ameren is state owned or privately operated
Uh, hey man, not being a dick or anything. But “fuck off” isn’t French. Just fyi so you don’t say that in the future and look foolish.
After a recent 6% (i believe) raise. They also want to pass on unanticipated costs from other Ameren division to UE as well
I’m getting a solar array installed in three weeks. It will cost me slightly more than my 12/mo avg Ameren bill when compared against the electric/solar savings. Eventually the electric/solar savings will overtake the Ameren costs, in fact this proposed increase covers more than 25% of that difference for my install. People ask me why I’m willing to pay a little more, this is why. Ameren will never stop raising costs, but my electric usage will stay on average about the same. It’s a bet but I think eventually I’ll come out ahead, at Ameren’s rate it won’t take long.
Do you mind sharing the specs of your new system?
For sure: 6.57 kW / 18 panels / 97% avg energy offset. Purchased via StraightUp Solar, local company, great to work with. I bought the sleek panels, I think there are three levels of panel choice and if I recall correctly they’re more or less an aesthetic choice, but I went with the nicer looking ones, which cost a bit more. I have a very normal 1,200 sq/ft house with a finished basement. My payment for the system over an 18 year, transferable loan is about $140/mo. As you can imagine during peak usage summer months I may still pay Ameren $40/month because my solar won’t provide all the needed energy, in the less-electric-using months I’ll provide power back to the grid, which is how they calculate the average offset rates. Hope this helps!
Be aware that your panels will lose production over time. And the less expensive Ameren months will likely coincide with less solar production. Are you going with any sort of battery storage? Solar in STL is a very long pay out. I don’t recommend an install unless you can put up a large array.
They do drop in efficiency over time but I think it was like 80% efficiency after 20 years or so, I mean according to the solar company so… take that how you will. I also don’t want to pretend I’m some kind of solar expert in this thread, I’m definitely not. It’s not going to be affordable for everyone but we were able to do it. I feel good about it and I think it’s a step in the right direction for green energy. As I said in a previous comment it’s kind of a bet on future Ameren rate increases over time, nobody is getting solar to save big money because to your point it just doesn’t work like that. It may add value to a home, may break about or a little better than even over time, and hopefully putting your green foot where your green mouth is lol
I’m so glad you are comfortable with your decision. You will definitely save some money.
I see your loan is 18 years and you mentioned 20 years to 80%. What's the service life on them? I'm curious how long you expect to have them paid off while they are usable.
There's no penalty for paying off early, i'll likely have these paid for in less than three years, since i always try to tackle debt aggressively. That's a good question about the service life, i don't actually know! This is Google's general statement, "The average lifespan of solar panels is 25 years. However, this doesn't mean the panels on your roof will stop producing electricity after a couple of decades. It just means that after that point, their energy production may decrease beyond what solar panel manufacturers will guarantee their rated production output."
Here’s the[Grow Solar info packet](https://t.e2ma.net/click/u2hkmu/i5r0bvc/um10jag). It’s group buy program I used. I also had StraightUp Solar do my install through the group buy program - huge savings over just walking into them saying I want solar installed. No money down and reduced rate on the panels plus they do all the paperwork for you. It was simple and worth it. Most months I don’t have an electric bill.
i did this and it was great i plan on doing it on my next house also
>Hey there, i put my specs in the comment w/ the previous individual. Hope it's helpful for you.
Did you consider home battery as well? If so, can you share more about that?
For me the real game changer will be able to store energy and avoid extended power outages
I've got a deposit down for a Ford F150 Lightning (their new electric truck) that comes out in 2022. A big benefit to it is it can power your home for a while if needed. My current car is a 2008 Mazda 3 which i bought new at the time, it's still running but it's approaching 150K miles so i'm about due for a new vehicle anyway. I haul around kayaks and do enough home improvement type projects that a beefier vehicle would make my life a lot easier, so the wife and i are seeing if that fits in to next year's budget but i think we'll make it work! Sorry i know you asked about home batteries and i went down a tangent but it's how i'm working towards the solution to the power outage issue.
Appreciate the response and tangent!
The F150 looks to be a solid play. I’ll be interested to how they do in real world applications.
Me too, thank you!
Batteries aren’t cost effective enough atm to power the house. Most couldn’t power a full house, only keep the fridge and heat or ac running for up to 8 hours. It’s worth it to wait longer as this technology keeps improving.
I think the thought with batteries is that you don’t put back into the grid for some pittance, but save it to run the house at night when it’s cooler. Also the batteries can charge up at night when energy costs are low and use that during the day with the solar generated to keep energy costs as low as possible. .
The way it was explained to me, they aren’t intended for that purpose. They also don’t charge from the grid, they are DC, not AC energy. Again, not an owner so open to being told I’m wrong and educated. Straightupsolar does give webinars on various batteries; I just haven’t had the interest in attending since I’m doing fine without one.
I'm looking into Solar Warehouse (I think that's the name) for a DIY install and they use Enphase batteries. Those batteries seem a little more expensive (even than Powerwall), but they also seem like they might be a slightly safer chemistry.
Still doing a bit of research though. The battery system is usually as much as the panels or more (at least if you want true whole-home backup, including AC).
Do you mind sharing what your cost/watt was for your quote. I recently got a quote for $3.05/watt for a 6.4kW system and I don’t know if that’s good or bad for this area.
So your kW is almost identical to mine. I don’t remember the breakdown per kW, or if I have that document somewhere I’ll try to get back to you. I do know my all-in cost was about $27-28K thereabout, and I got a little bit of a discount. If your array quote is around 30-34K I think you’re looking at a pretty solid quote right there.
Woah! After ameren and federal tax rebates I’m $19k out of pocket for a 8.4kW array with the Grow Solar group buy. It was $28k pre-rebates.
Oh I forgot to mention the rebates lol
I would check out the group buy and see if you can still get in: https://t.e2ma.net/click/u2hkmu/i5r0bvc/um10jag
The deadline is 30 September! You can also email directly at mailto: mailto:[email protected]
If anyone on here is planning on doing group buy I’d love if you use me as Referal!
Was that just for panels? Just for comparison, the solar panels I put on my Skoolie were about 53c/watt... But of course my system is entirely DIY.
What program did you use to go about finding the right solar installation? I'm signed up for the Grow Solar non-profit. The house we bought is in a newer subdivision with few tall trees. As a result we get full sun on our roof all day long. It is ripe for solar.
Basically the solar company takes a look at your Ameren account, which of course you give them permission to do so. They review your usage and based on that make a determination as to what size system you'll need.
I think we all want to know how to source the power we need without paying the vultures over at Ameren.
I kinda want to go and in the mom-voice, *Now, Ameren, didn’t you just ask us for more money? Maybe take a little time to consider fixing the lines you’ve got and then we can talk about this again…*
Maybe if they cut back the round the clock TV and radio advertisements they're buying? Seriously why do they advertise so damn heavily when there's not even competition for me to take my business to. Stop wasting our fucking money.
They're advertising to let customers know about their investments through the smart energy plan in hopes that the legislature will pass another round in a few years.
As much as I don't like your answer I recognize the truth in it.
Do you have the date/time for the public hearing?
Edit: Or, would you know where to locate this information for future reference?
There are two photos. Second one includes dates and times for each area
Apparently I was a derp. Thank you!!!!
I was going to ask the same. I want to fight this tooth and nail! They don’t deserve another penny!
are they charging more for the recent calloway incident? couldn't have been cheap at all.
wait, what happened at callaway?
it went offline for a few months (?) because something happened to the generator. They had to truck a huge part of it away to get it re-wound. at least that's what i remember reading.
oh yeah, here it is: [https://www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2021/mar/04/callaway-energy-center-still-at-zero-power/862229/](https://www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2021/mar/04/callaway-energy-center-still-at-zero-power/862229/)
AFAIK, it is back to 100% now.
Ameren had near record profits for 2020
I know it's kind of tacky. But can anyone share to any large Facebook groups to spread awareness? Facebook, for all its faults is actually a good place to spread info like this
More efficient lights, more efficient AC, new windows and doors, new white [flat] roof, home automation to turn off stuff I am not using - all changes I have made in the past fifteen years yet my bill just keeps going up.
Time to go solar! They’re stilling doing rebates, no?
Why should I pay more for the power I don't get every time it rains? Even my coworkers in India are amazed. I have more outtages then 8 coworkers combined.
I moved here recently and it's fucking baffling how often the power goes out here and everyone pretends that it's just a normal thing that happens in the world's largest economy.
But they’ll pay over $500 million in dividends to shareholders.
This will make my solar panels pay themselves back faster so that’s awesome.
How nice for you.
Waiting for battery tech to catchup.
Ameren is such a joke, I live in Seattle, Washington and apparently have a unpaid power bill for a home in their service area that somehow got tied to me. They have been chasing me for 5 years for a $65 bill.
I knew the "smart" meters they are installing in everyone's homes would end up costing more in the long run. I can sit here and fester in my knowing that I was right about something. Yay me!
Yeah who would have thought installing smart meters to get rid of meter readers, you know they saves Ameren on employment costs, now needs the cost pushed onto the consumer? A whole lot of having cake and eating it too.
OP do you have any references on plans by Ameren to do this in St Clair County Illinois or a way I can find out?
Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois are separate entities and regulated by separate commissions, this would not apply to you
I'm not sure. I just recently moved here and still learning my way around. The notice says that the increase is due in part to the addition of two wind production facilities and greater depreciation rates of existing coal plants. If either of those facilities (will) service your location, then I wouldn't be surprised if a rate increase will come your way soon enough. I had received this notice with the paper bill in the mail.
Trash and utilities on my crappy 1-br apartment are covered with rent, but the landlord warned us of a $40/month jump in rent 3 months ago--specifically to cover increased utility costs--to start when my lease renews at year's end. Now I'm left wondering if they'll change that to an extra $90/month instead, or wait until 2023 for the next bump in rent.
So how do we stop this? I'm already fuckin paying too much
SOLAR! I am currently in San Diego by in the process of moving back to STL. We have not had an electric bill since 2018. Last year they owed us money.
I will absolutely be installing solar on the new house. It’s $25k plus tax deductions and other incentives. Best thing we ever spent money on.
Private companies have a right to make as much profit as they can. It’s bizarre that they have to even get approval for this
Not when they’ve created monopolies, especially around essential public services.
Look at his recent comments. He just blamed unions for standing in the way of progress and not the billionaires who only invest in the stock market.
Of course he’s one of those.
They do. But Public Utilities don't. This is a public utility.
yeah man, we really should nationalize electricity
This private company has a customer base coerced at the point of a gun. Utilities either need to be deregulated and completely privatized or completely owned by the public.
Utilities are regulated in states where a winter storm doesn’t lead to dozens of deaths because the grid failed.
When the reality of green energy actually hits home. Get used to it.
Green energy has nothing to do with a company giving half a billion dollars in stock buybacks to shareholders then hiking the price on customers.
85% of new power added in this country this year is renewable. This isn’t because of regulation, it’s because wind and solar are cheaper to build and use. These price hikes have nothing to do with green energy.