For the past several years, the Missouri General Assembly has considered some form of energy legislation aimed at updating the century-old regulatory policies governing Missouri’s investor-owned electric utilities.
In the past, these bills were unbalanced in favor of the utility and did not offer enough benefits to customers, so I did not support them. Senate Bill 564, which is the current legislation, is a great improvement over past legislation, and one I fully endorse.
The big improvement in SB 564 is the introduction of rate growth caps of 3 percent per year on average – half of what consumers have been subjected to over the past decade. Missouri electricity rates have grown four times faster than the national average, which is a clear indication that current law simply is not working and change is necessary.
These proposed rate caps are some of the most aggressive and consumer-friendly in the country, and that is why this bill has wide-reaching, bipartisan support from legislators, businesses, Chambers of Commerce and consumers.
Passing SB 564 will help prevent rate spikes and give consumers more stable, predictable rates. It will also result in reliability increases and will benefit consumers by reducing power outages and ensuring our state has the electrical infrastructure necessary to meet the needs of our growing economy.
Now is the time to pass this legislation. It will have a direct and sustainable benefit for consumers, while securing Missouri’s future as a low cost electric rate state.