Commission denies complaint on Ameren's rates

The Missouri Public Service Commission denied Noranda Aluminum Inc.'s request for a lower electricity rate from Ameren Missouri.

Noranda is a mining and metallurgy company based out of Franklin, Tennessee. It, along with 37 individual customers filed a complaint wit;h the Public Service Commission in February 2014 alleging Ameren's rate was unreasonable.

Noranda's complaint stemmed from the idea that its aluminum smelter was crucial to Missouri's economy and that smelter could not be sustained at the current rate. Noranda also said all Ameren Missouri ratepayers would benefit from the relief request.

The commission agreed on the importance of the aluminum smelter but voted 5-0 against Noranda's complaint, dismissing the case.

"But the Commission determines that the evidence presented in this case does not warrant a departure from cost-of-service ratemaking," the Commission said. "The Complainants have not demonstrated a liquidity crisis nor adequately demonstrated that Ameren Missouri's remaining ratepayers would be better off if Noranda took service at its requested rate than they would be if Noranda exited Ameren Missouri's system. Finally, and importantly, a request for an economic development subsidy of this magnitude is more properly directed to the Missouri General Assembly."

The Commission encouraged the two parties to continue to purse negotiations on a compromise as it could be considered in Ameren Missouri's current rate case.

Ameren Missouri supplies electricity to around 1.2 million customers in Missouri.


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