The extreme cold this winter is bringing some unwanted news to utility customers in the Midwest and Northeast -- higher heating bills.
As many in Missouri and Illinois have already seen, propane rates have skyrocketed in the past few weeks. Gas and electric rates aren't changing, but utility company's say customers should still expect to see higher bills starting this month.
A jump in demand because of the brutal winter weather is to blame, according to utility providers. Demand for natural gas reportedly hit an all-time high during the first week in January.
The situation isn't expected to improve any time soon, as forecasters are calling for more cold weather over the next few weeks.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri regulators have approved an infrastructure surcharge for natural gas customers of Ameren Missouri.
The Public Service Commission says the surcharge will cost residential customers 75 cents per month.
Ameren Missouri sought the surcharge for infrastructure improvements it has made since the start of 2011. Its costs for replacing and relocating natural gas pipelines are not included in its rates.
St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri has about nearly 127,000 natural gas customers in Missouri.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed legislation that would have expanded an infrastructure surcharge for gas companies.
Gas utilities have been allowed to seek approval from the Public Service Commission to levy a surcharge for infrastructure replacements. The charge is levied between formal rate cases, and the gas companies must file for a more involved rate case every three years.
The legislation would have required full rate cases every five years and would have increased the cap on how much gas companies could collect through the surcharge.
Nixon said the legislation also would have allowed companies to recover from customers much of the uncollectable debt from customers who do not pay.